Recently I’ve embarked on a journey with Pittsburgh’s Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation. As someone who harbors an interest both in urban spaces and graffiti I have long been fascinated with the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin, PA. The furnaces were constructed in 1907 as part of the Homestead Works and were used to produce iron until 1978 when the mill closed. The mill stood abandoned from that time until recently when Rivers of Steel took control of the site. Only two of the original furnaces remain standing today, and they are extraordinarily rare examples of early 20th century iron-making technology.
So not only is the site a significant piece of industrial revolution history, but it’s been totally uncared for and unused for over 30 years. Over the course of those 30 years motivated explorers could easily access the furnaces. Many artists left their marks on the site. Graffiti blankets the incredible canvas of the furnaces. Some artists were such frequent visitors that the furnaces could almost be considered home. Today, I’m going to share a few photos from my first visit with promise of many many more. As things progress I will be helping to document all of the graffiti at Carrie Furnace in order to maintain that which is culturally significant. Here is a small taster of things to come.