It sounded like a fun morning but I never expected to be moved to tears at the old LTV Coke Plant in Hazelwood today. I also didn’t expect the slow and laborious movement of tons of steel sculpture to be dramatic. But it was.
The press release had announced that "The Workers," two huge sculptures would be moved from the floor of the old fabricating building — the big pale blue one you can see from Irvine Avenue en route to and from Hazelwood -- to the Southside Riverfront Park at 21st Street.
The sculptures — an 18- and 17-foot-tall pair of steel workers — had been created by Tim Kaulen’s group, the Industrial Arts Co-op, the same group that created the deer head at the Eliza Furnace site.
It was the back story and the artists' emotions that turned a fun morning into a more interesting job for me. It's always a great experience to stand in a humongous industrial ghost of a place and imagine its past.
Both times I have been in the fabricating plant at the old LTV site, I have been enamored of its strange beauty. I fantastize that this building will remain through any future development, with its punctured roof intact, to become a post-industrial roller rink/ice rink/ bowling alley/ bike park.
It could happen.
The Almono site -- named for the three rivers, it is a development partnership between the Regional Industrial Development Corp and the Heinz Endowments -- may be developed in a few years or it may be many many years. It took the creators of “The Workers” what seems like a long time ... until you realize how long a long time really is.
Read the back story in tomorrow’s Post-Gazette.