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It was a gorgeous autumn day at Carrie Furnaces for the October 25th Casting the Iron Garden event pouring an astounding 5,500 pounds of molten iron.

The amazing choreography of charging, smelting and pouring showed the steady workflow made possible by the detailed planning and preparation of the team of participants including Visiting Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University Joshua Reiman, Casey Westbrook of Carbon Arts, iron-caster and fabricator Ed Parrish, and the Penn State Master Gardener Program of Allegheny County. Assisting in the event were Carnegie Mellon University students and many volunteers. Iron art produced at the event included the Iron Garden Walk plaques, Carrie Deer Kickstarter Antler Rewards, guest scratch plaques and other original works.

Funding for the event and Iron Garden Walk plaques was made possible through Rivers of Steel National Heritage, the U. S. National Park Service and The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Funding for the installation of the Iron Garden Walk is being provided by a Seed Grant of The Sprout Fund as well as an Awesome Pittsburgh grant.

Our thanks to the Swissvale Fire Department, volunteers, participants and guests who made the day a remarkable adventure in the science and art of iron. Join us in the spring for the first tours of the new Iron Garden Walk!

HITCHCOCK! A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnaces
- November 1, 8PM to 1AM



one night only

, the Carrie Furnaces will be transformed into a showcase of suspense, romance and psychological thrills through the partnership of

The Independent, Bar Marco


This homage to director Alfred Hitchcock includes vibrant lighting of the site structures - you'll be spellbound by the cinematic backdrop for this evening's festivities powered by the green energy of Zero Fossil. Dress for the cool November night and be sure to wear sturdy footgear as it's more than 39 steps through the planned site activities.



Our on-site eatery includes a food tent from

The Independent and the best of Pittsburgh's specialty food trucks, including:


Blowfish BBQ,  Gyros N'at, Leona's Ice Cream Sandwiches, Pgh Taco Truck, and Street Food.


Offerings of decadent cocktails and local brews will be provided by Bar Marco, The Brew Gentlemen, and Maggie's Farm Rum. General Admission tickets ($35) include 3 drink tickets (beer or cocktail). Grab a bite and a beverage, then warm up at the bonfire in the vertigo-inducing blast furnace courtyard.


Also on hand will be Ink Division, PuzzlePax and a few Hitchockesque surprises. Local DJs at the Power House dance floor will fill the night with tunes to keep you in a dancing frenzy long past moonrise. Without a shadow of a doubt, it's going to be a spectacular Halloween event at Carrie Furnaces!


The event will be held RAIN or SHINE!

Limited to guests 21 years of age and over. 



For an inside look at HITCHCOCK!...view the video, if you dare.

CARRIE DEER Restoration Begins


Members of the Carrie Deer Restoration Team recently met at the Carrie Furnaces site to review materials, processes and schedules for the initial steps of restoring both the Carrie Deer and its foundation building. Team Leaders Ron BaraffRick Rowlands and Eddie Opat made final determinations on the foundation building needs and initial steps in stabilizing the sculpture.


Ron is ensuring that the integrity of the site, historical components of the structures, and interpretative heritage elements are maintained throughout the work to be completed on this landmark site. He is also overseeing the project, construction, restoration and volunteer involvement. A few elements will be repurposed on the site, including this breaker box in the foundation building. 


Rick is acquiring materials, consulting on the structural stability issues and coordinating equipment use and worker/volunteer schedules. Clearing materials from the foundation building for eventual gallery use will begin in a few weeks. Materials removed will be sorted according to historical significance, potential reuse and those that can be recycled as scrap. A crane will be required to lift elements through the now-open ceiling to facilitate installation of the new roof.


As a mentor of the Industrial Arts Cooperative Mobile Sculpture Workshop (IAC-MSW), Eddie will be leading the IAC-MSW students through the physical restoration and assisting in the restoration processes. The IAC-MSW has been featured at the Sunday Heritage Market at the Pump House throughout the 2014 season as they completed their most recent salvage sculpture.


Funds raised through our successful SAVE the CARRIE DEER Kickstarter campaign and the SAVE the CARRIE DEER documentary premiere event have made the stabilization of the sculpture and installation of new gallery rooms in the foundation building possible. Our Kickstarter Antler Reward was also created at the recent Casting the Iron Garden event - rewards for Kickstarter donations are now being delivered to our backers!


Our thanks to all those who have helped along the way, donated to the campaign and events, or pledged volunteer hours to assist in making this all possible. We'll continue to provide updates on the restoration process through completion.




Iconic posters, children's books, special edition T-shirts, ethnic heritage artworks, books and DVDs on our industrial heritage or artisan-cast iron'll find a very unique gift for that special someone in our upcoming Holiday Gift Catalog.

What better way to select a special gift than knowing your purchase supports the projects and programs that preserve Southwestern Pennsylvania's rich industrial and cultural heritage for future generations? 

Watch your in-box for the new edition of The Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area Holiday Gift Catalog, coming soon!



The Rivers of Steel Archives are open to the public for research (by appointment only) Monday-Friday from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  Research materials are available in the form of books, articles, audiovisual recordings, and archival material covering the steel and related industries, labor/unions, capital/industrialists and ethnic and cultural groups in Southwestern Pennsylvania as well as resources from across the nation.  To make a research appointment, please call the Archives at 412-464-4020 Ext. 21, or search the collection online.
This month's archival photo:  This steroview and lantern slide shows the filling of a bessemer convert with molten iron from the cupola. Homestead, PA.

Standard tour offerings of the Carrie Furnaces will resume in spring of 2015. Thank you for your generous patronage of our many tours and activities throughout this year. We look forward to providing a unique look into our industrial heritage in the new year.

For  special requests and information, please contact our offices at:
 412-464-4020, by email or through our website.

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Jones & Laughlin Steel symbolizes industrialized Pittsburgh and is an integral part of Pittburgh's culture. Photos, archival documents, artifacts and personal stories tell the story of an incredible and resilient company and the region that it helped create.
Saturday, November 15 - 7PM, West Mifflin High School

Otets Paissi, the Bulgarian Performing Folk Ensemble, is a talented group of singers, dancers and musicians delighting audiences with their spirited choreography and beautifully embellished traditional costumes. Sponsored by a grant from the Heinz Endowments, this year's fall concert theme is "Balkanistica."

Following the concert, the public is invited to the Bulgarian Cultural Center at 449 West 8th Avenue, West Homestead,  for the monthly Vercherinka dance party featuring live music and refreshments. For ticket information - 412-461-6188
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Your donation to the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area supports the projects and programs that preserve Southwestern Pennsylvania's rich industrial and cultural heritage for future generations.
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As a MEMBER of Rivers of Steel, you can make a difference in preserving our cultural heritage, natural resources, recreational amenities and assist in economic development of our region. Membership benefits also include: 10% discount in the gift shop, free exhibit admission, invitations to members-only events/programming, and two complimentary tickets to our Carrie Furnaces Tour! Thank you for supporting the efforts of Rivers of Steel.
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