Towering 92 feet over the Monongahela River, constructed of 2.5" thick steel plate and lined with refractory brick, Carrie Furnaces 6 and 7 (the only 2 left) are extremely rare examples of pre World War II iron-making technology. Since the collapse of the region's steel industry in the 1970s and 1980s, these are the only non-operative blast furnaces in the Pittsburgh District to remain standing. Forming a part of the Homestead Steel Works - later purchased by Andrew Carnegie - the Carrie Furnaces were built in 1884 and they operated until 1982. Furnaces #6 and #7, built and operated from 1907 - 1978, also contain the hot metal bridge, and consumed approximately four tons of raw materials - comprised of iron ore, coke, and limestone - for every ton of iron produced. The cooling system for the blast furnace required over five million gallons of water a day. These furnaces reached their peak production in the 1950s and 1960s when they were producing 1000 - 1250 tons of iron a day.
In November 2006, Carrie Furnaces 6 and 7 won designation as a National Historic Landmark thanks in part to US Representative Mike Doyle.
The site on which it stands may be developed into a historic parklet, the Homestead Works National Park, with Carrie Furnace forming an attraction. As one of the focal points for the proposed park, furnaces 6 and 7 will undergo a $78 million stabilization and renovation that would allow visitors to climb a series of walkways around these industrial giants and see the furnaces that set world records in the production of iron.
For more information visit http://www.riversofsteel.com/