In 1881, Sloss Furnace Company was born on an empty plot of land in the newly-founded city of Birmingham, Alabama in order to take advantage of the area’s rich mineral resources and largely African American and convict labor force, helping to develop the city into a booming industrial center. Now a recognized National Historic Landmark, the retired structures that remain of Sloss Furnaces are a mesmerizing, haunting labyrinth into the complicated and troubling economic and racial history of the company and region, and reflects Birmingham’s ongoing struggle to establish a new, post-industrial identity.

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