Red Mountain (sculpture)
The artwork was commissioned by the United States General Services Administration specifically for the courthouse plaza. The five-foot wide by five-foot tall by seventeen-foot long sculpture is made of three different colors of granite: Indian Red, Cambrian Black, and Deer Isle (white) granite. The light-colored block is carved into a U-shaped double pylon, behind which a black triangular upright supports one end of a tilted black crossbar. The end of the crossbar nearest the courthouse is supported on a red triangular upright. The surfaces of the stone blocks exhibit a variety of finishes, from rough chipped faces to smooth, polished surfaces. The sculpture was installed on November 24, 1991.
"Red Mountain" was removed and placed in storage during repairs to the plaza in 2012. U.S. Marshal Marty Keeley, head of security for the facility, prevented its scheduled re-installation on the grounds that it could provide cover for an armed assailant at the entrance to the courthouse. Chief Judge Karon Bowdre agreed with the assessment and lobbied Representatives Spencer Bachus and Terri Sewell to insert a provision into the 2014 Financial Services appropriations bill preventing the General Services Administration from installing the artwork in its former location.
The GSA made site visits to Birmingham in August 2014 to survey alternative sites.
- Faulk, Kent (July 17, 2014) "Art or security threat? U.S. House of Representatives votes against re-installing Birmingham federal courthouse sculpture." The Birmingham News