Visit to Carrie Furnace

Last month, I woke up one day and wondered why I had never been to the Carrie Furnace site. I’ve heard plenty about it. My neighbor and friend Randolph Harris worked very hard to successfully have it made into a National Historic Landmark. Some of my architecture and engineering friends were involved with documenting the site. I have seen it many many times from my hometown just across the Monongahela river.

When I was in college, I took a view camera class called “Documenting the Modern Ruin.” It was a fall semester class, meaning that the weather got colder and colder as the semester progressed. I loved the weather, I loved my instructor, and I loved the cumbersome camera and huge film negatives.  Sometimes I work better when the conditions are extreme.

I visited the Rivers of Steel website and saw an upcoming Photo Safari sponsored by the Silver Eye Center for Photography. So off I went–combining my love of photographing “modern ruins” with my love of cold weather. I was hoping for a snowy February day, but got rain instead. You can see it in some of the photos.


Public tours of the Carrie Furnace site are available April through October. Visit their website and go.

  • Rich DembskiFebruary 8, 2012 - 15:13

    Hard to believe that business would let nature reclaim the property,when there was still so much money to be made.Nice photo’s

  • Rich DembskiFebruary 8, 2012 - 15:18

    I would like to go scuba diving into the two flooded stairwells into the basement.I think there would be some great photo opportunity in that pump room.

  • nickiFebruary 8, 2012 - 16:19

    photo opportunities and probably some form of incurable disease. great photos sister!! i didn’t realize it was that cool there. thank you randy harris.

  • Ryan VossFebruary 8, 2012 - 17:32

    Great photos Randi. Beautiful. They eerily remind me of the post-apocalyptic settings of many of my favorite video-games. You must have nerves of steel to walk around that place. And Rich, you are crazy to even think about going down that flooded stairway.

  • CatrionaFebruary 8, 2012 - 22:13

    You and your eye(s) amaze me. I love what you captured here…especially the “rusted” boiler looking potbelly furnace thing and the “stop fate” door. Favorite is the white wall with the window and the diagonal settlement crack. :). Xoxo,C

  • denise dembskiFebruary 10, 2012 - 09:12

    I agree, your eyes are amazing. I can hear the wind through the building and the rust layering off and falling…..mumma

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