Fort Pitt

12/31/2014 32 images Share: , , Album RSS
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Founded in 1906 by C.S. Koch, Fort Pitt Steel Castings Co. was built on 13 acres in what was then Versailles Township. Koch's death in 1937 put the company into the hands of the Union Trust Bank as executors of his estate, but Fort Pitt Steel Casting continued to prosper under the leadership of his top lieutenant, Fred Grotts, who became president and saw the firm out of the Depression and into World War II. In 1944, Pittsburgh’s H.K. Porter Co. purchased Fort Pitt (possibly to relieve the bank from the burden of management under wartime condition), then sold it at war’s end to Pittsburgh Steel Foundry and Machine Co. of Glassport. Then the destiny of Fort Pitt Steel Casting Co. changed forever in 1959, when Pittsburgh Steel Foundry was acquired by Textron Inc. Conditions at Fort Pitt, however, began to deteriorate as Textron managers came and went. The plant’s technical edge on its competitors vanished, and then Fort Pitt slipped behind the industry when furnaces and casting equipment weren’t updated. In April 1968, Textron divested Fort Pitt Steel Casting to another conglomerate, Kearney-National Inc., which sold the company 18 months later to Condec Corp. Despite an attempt to save the plant through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, on Sept. 26, 1983, McKeesport Steel Castings declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By early 1984, operations at McKeesport Steel Castings had all but ceased. Cleveland investor Herman Brownstein purchased the plant in June 1984 and renamed it McKeesport Steel Foundry Inc., but it’s unlikely that many castings were shipped, except those necessary to fill existing contracts. When utility companies sued because their bills were going unpaid, the plant closed for good and was abandoned.

Fort Pitt was demolished in 2014-2015.

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