WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – One of the last relics from the days of steel will be torn down by this time next month.
Things were quiet Monday evening around the last remaining blast furnace in Warren. The only sound was the faint hint of steam coming from two pipes.
Tara Cioffi, administrator of the Mahoning-Trumbull Air Pollution Control Agency, had the paperwork to demolish the furnace on her desk.
“They have a notification into our office for asbestos removal to begin July 5. After the asbestos is completely removed from the structure, then they’ll demolish that and it’s scheduled for July 25,” she said.
History will remember it as the Trumbull Cliffs blast furnace. Built in 1921, Republic Steel operated the furnace for most of its life, though today the name on the sign is RG Steel.
“Any time that we lose any industrial sites here in the Valley, I shed a quiet tear,” said Rick Rowlands, a Youngstown steel historian.
For about 100 years, the entire property housed a huge steel mill, which is now gone. The only sign that it once made steel is the blast furnace, which will also come tumbling down soon.
Rowlands called the blast furnace the icon of the steel industry.
“Unlike other mill buildings where you just have long sheds that you really don’t know what’s going on, these are rather interesting-looking, so people see them and that gives the idea of steel making.”
At its peak, what used to be the Youngstown Steel District had 27 blast furnaces. The most famous furnace demolition happened in the early 1980s when the four furnaces of the U.S. Steel Ohio Works fell.