Carrie Furnaces' Iron Garden: Re-imagining the Industrial Landscape

Join Rivers of Steel for a special presentation by renowned landscape design consultant, author, lecturer and photographer Rick Darke.

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Though post-industrial landscapes are often imagined to be ruins, these vibrant, regenerating places are surprisingly rich in history, ecology, and nuanced beauty. The Iron Garden re-imagines Carrie Furnaces’ landscape, employing editing techniques to create useful, innovative spaces. Using a mix of wildscapes from Berlin to the High Line for comparison, Rick Darke will illustrate how Rivers of Steel’s Addition by Reduction project provides a design and management model for urban parks and community places that celebrate the resiliency of the industrial landscape.

Rick Darke in the Iron Garden

Rick Darke at the Carrie Blast Furnaces

Pennsylvania-based Rick Darke’s work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends ecology, horticulture and cultural geography in the design and care of living landscapes. His collaborative projects include parks, post-industrial sites, transportation corridors, conservation departments, botanic gardens and residential landscapes. His many books include The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, co-authored with Doug Tallamy, and Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes co-authored with Piet Oudolf. Rick has been photographing Carrie Furnaces since 2006. For further info visit: www.rickdarke.com

Hours & Admission*

This program occurs once on June 28, 2019. Doors are a 7:00 p.m. Talk begins at 7:30 p.m.

General Admission 

$10

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Location & Directions

The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in Swissvale and Rankin, PA in the Monongahela River Valley. The entrance to the Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104.

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What to Know Before You Go

As a former industrial site, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable visit.

  • What to wear:  While the event is occuring inside, please dress for the weather. Additionally, the ground is uneven – sensible shoes are a must. Sneakers or boots are recommended. Open-toed shoes and high heels are prohibited.
  • Restrooms & concessions: The rawness of the site is certainly part of its charm. However, that rawness also limits the creature comforts many of us are accustomed to, like running water. Portable bathrooms and wash stations are available. Food amenities are generally not (with some exceptions, such as food trucks at festivals.)
  • Photography: Photography is permitted. For safety reasons, videography and drones are prohibited.
  • Accessibility: Handicapped parking is available, but the grounds covered during tours are not wheelchair accessible. Handicapped parking is available as is the Power House building. However the ground is uneven.
  • Liability: By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors are required to sign a liability waiver and consent to be photographed (PDF).
  • Admission: Site access is limited to guided tours, workshops and events. Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed.
  • Duration: Allow one and one-half hour for this program.
  • Children: While kids of all ages are welcome, the content is recommended for children for ages 8+.

Thank you for following these guidelines. We wish you to have the best visit possible, and appreciate your patience as we continue to improve the visitor experience.

For more information, contact tours@riversofsteel.com.

Learn more about the events

such as tours, workshops, and festivals happening at each unique attraction.

Industrial Tour

Declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006, the Carrie Blast Furnaces entices visitors to marvel at the scale and legacy of its industrial might.

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The guided Industrial Tour highlights the drama of the iron-making process – from the movement of raw materials to the tapping of the furnaces producing fiery molten iron – while sharing the stories of the site’s technology, its workers and their culture.

Carrie Blast Furnaces

Carrie Blast Furnaces

Hours & Admission*

Morning and afternoon tours are offered seasonally from May through October. Check the calendar for specific dates and times.

Child (17 and under)

Advance/Door
$14/$17

Student (18+ with college ID)

Advance/Door
$17/$20

Senior (62 and above) 

Advance/Door
$17/$20

General Admission 

Advance/Door
$21/$25

*Tours are limited to 25 participants. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance as we cannot guarantee tickets will be available for walk ups.

Buy tickets

Location & Directions

The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in Swissvale and Rankin, PA in the Monongahela River Valley. The entrance to the Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104.

Get DirectionsGet Directions
Please note that this is a new road and may not be recognized by your GPS or online mapping programs. Download directions as PDF.

What to Know Before You Go

As a former industrial site, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable visit.

  • What to wear: The majority of each tour is outside; please dress for the weather. Additionally, the ground is uneven – sensible shoes are a must. Sneakers or boots are recommended. Open-toed shoes and high heels are prohibited.
  • Restrooms & concessions: The rawness of the site is certainly part of its charm. However, that rawness also limits the creature comforts many of us are accustomed to, like running water. Portable bathrooms and wash stations are available. Food amenities are generally not (with some exceptions, such as food trucks at festivals.)
  • Photography: Photography is permitted. For safety reasons, videography and drones are prohibited.
  • Accessibility: Handicapped parking is available, but the grounds covered during tours are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Liability: By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors are required to sign a liability waiver and consent to be photographed (PDF).
  • Admission: Site access is limited to guided tours, workshops and events. Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed.
  • Duration: Allow two hours for your tour.
  • Children: Tour is recommended for children for ages 8+.

Thank you for following these guidelines. We wish you to have the best visit possible, and appreciate your patience as we continue to improve the visitor experience.

For more information, contact tours@riversofsteel.com.

Learn more about the events

such as tours, workshops, and festivals happening at each unique attraction.