The towering Thomas Coke Works furnaces remain mostly hidden in plain site within the confines of Wade Sand and Gravel at the intersection of Arkadelphia Road and I-59 near Birmingham Southern Collage. Installed during a boom in industrial construction only a few years after Birmingham was founded, the furnaces have overseen the birth, growth, struggles, and rebirth of the Magic City.
While the furnaces breathed their last in 1971, the former site of Republic Steel Corporation, like Birmingham itself, would be reborn. After the property was acquired by Wade Sand and Gravel, the Wade family began offering the grounds to artists in need of studio space. Under the supportive stewardship of Robin and Carolyn Wade, the Thomas Coke Works have become a haven for artists inspired by Birmingham's unique history to create a better future.