The town of Weirton in West Virgina was founded by american steel manufacturer Ernest T. Weir soon after the construction of his first steel mill on the left bank of Ohio river has begun in 1909.
Four blast furnaces (1919, 1926, 1941 and 1952) together with open-hearth shop (1920) and bessemer converter later (1936) soon became one of the world´s largest producers of tin plate products.
The construction of new BOP shop (basic oxygen plant) - the future of Weirton steel - started in 1965.
Nevertheless rapidly changing market needs and political decissions are causing Weirton some very hard times. Economically decaying mill was purchased by the employees in early 80´s, making it the world´s largest Employee Stock Ownership Plan at that time. Inevitable bankrupcy followed in 2003.
The assets were auctioned by International Steel Group and sold to Mittal in 2005.
Last active blast furnace was shutdown by the end of the same year.
In the beginning of 2017 ArcelorMittal sold its propeties to Frontier Group, the demolition of the BOP shop started at almost the same day.
Keywords: weirton steel corporation, west virginia, rust belt, ohio river, abandoned steel mill, almost urbex but not really, industrial photography, industrial architecture, industriální fotografie, americký středozápad, železárny, ocelárna, stahlwerk, hüttenwerk
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