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So long you old smokestack

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

Burning coal is a dirty job, one that Andrew Carnegie’s smokestack did for 102 years. It is now being disassembled.

smokestackThe Allegheny County Health Department ordered a switch from coal to gas at the Bellefield Boiler Plant last year, and at the same time, the 1907 smokestack, one of two on the site, was deemed unsafe.

It was an Oakland landmark, rising more than 200 feet out of Panther Hollow behind Carnegie Mellon University.  

Carnegie had the plant built to provide steam heat for his namesake buildings. It eventually heated most of the major buildings in Oakland. According to Wickipedia, it was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by the architectural firm Longfellow, Alden & Harlow.

Chris Sciulli, the director of technical services for Nova Contracting, said the dismantling job boilerplantshould last another three weeks, weather permitting. The best view is from the bridge that links the Carnegie Library and museums and the Phipps Conservatory.

Pittsburgh loses another historic structure. But, as Chris said, the loss also signals a move toward a cleaner city. So good riddance, sulfur dioxide emissions. At least there’s that to celebrate.

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