Exploring the Abandoned Carrie Furnace

no, the Carrie Furnace isn’t the prom that Carrie set ablaze in Stephen King’s story (*shudder* i can only imagine how many blog entries begin with this, but i couldn’t help it), but rather an old blast furnace near Pittsburgh where they made pig iron.

by the way, before i continue, i urge you to put on my theme song for this weekend:

back to the story at hand: i went on a photo safari tour yesterday, dual-led by a local photography professor and a site expert. i don’t remember exactly how i discovered the photo safari tour series, but i knew i had to do it and booked my ticket (and decided on this trip to Pittsburgh from Philly) late the night before. i did the sunset photo safari, which i don’t think was ideal since i’d have preferred more light, but it was the only one that worked with my schedule, and (all together now) beggars can’t be choosers!

IT WAS SO WORTH IT. the amount of ruinporn (the photography guide called me out on my addiction) was staggering, even though some areas were off-limits (for safety reasons). much of the site has been left to decay but there are development efforts underway. in the meantime, the site hosts some public guerilla art — and very well, might i add. i ambushed the historian for a little lesson in what exactly a blast furnace does; now that i know i can only imagine what the working conditions must have been like! that was also a nice departure from my typical modus operandi — having someone explain the history behind an abandoned place puts it in an entirely new light.

as always, all my pictures are up on Flickr (tons more where these came from).


The central hall (well, now-central) is flooded with beams of light. Amazing and gorgeous.


The back side


The bottom of one of the blast furnaces. These tall chimney-like things were fed raw materials from the top and super hot air from the bottom. As the materials fell, chemical reactions take place and at the bottom emerges molten iron.


A little window to the outside




Pipes and ducts


One of the two remaining blast furnaces


Where they unloaded raw materials. Hidden on the left are two large elevator platforms that hauled the ingredients up to the top of the furnaces to be dropped in.


Walkway on the railroad car tipper


Railroad car tipper


Inside one of the buildings

thanks to both the guides for a great experience!


Be the first to comment on "Exploring the Abandoned Carrie Furnace"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.