The Historic Pump House
* The Pump House is located at 880 East Waterfront Drive, Munhall, PA 15120.
The July 6, 1892 battle between workers and Pinkerton strikebreakers raged around a roughly 40 by 40-foot, red-brick, slate-roof building known as the Pump House.
It had been built a few months before in October, 1891, as a vital upgrade to the labyrinthine water system that provided the 7,000,000 gallons of water per day needed for the Carnegie Steel Company’s Homestead Works. Designed with carefully proportioned features, the Pump House incorporated details from Classical architecture and was doubled in size in 1898.
Remarkably, over the ensuing decades and even after the dismantling of the historic Homestead Steel Works in the 1980s, the Pump House remained in stable condition. Original 19th-century components were found that included sections of brick, mortar and cast iron window sills, and the new owner of the former mill property, Park Corporation, performed restorative work on the structure.
In 1990, the Battle of Homestead Foundation developed plans for an interpretive program for the site. Park welcomed the heritage initiatives, and subsequent owners and developers, Continental Real Estate, also proved hospitable.
Today the Pump House is owned and benevolently operated by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Corporation, who also offer many educational programs, tours and events related to the Pump House history and other local points of interest. The Battle of Homestead Foundation also uses the site for events, maintaining the physical connection with the events of 1892.
The Pump House is a trailhead of the Great Allegheny Passage which encompasses the Steel Valley Trail in the Mon Valley.
Group tours of the Pump House are available and can be bundled together with a visit to The Bost Building (623 E. 8th Avenue) that served in 1892 as the strikers’ headquarters and today houses offices for Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
To book a Pump House tour or book an event at the building, contact Rivers of Steel at (412) 464-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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