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Steel Statues Symbolize Pittsburgh’s Past, Future

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The LTV mill in Hazelwood doesn’t make steel any more. But steel sculptures? That’s another story.

Wednesday morning, iron workers prepared to transport two 20-foot sculptures to a new home on the South Side.

Tim Kaulen and 21 other artists teamed up with public and private supporters to recycle tons of scrap into massive works of art. It was an eight-year recycling project.

“They’re I-beams from the Hot Metal Bridge,” he says, “and additional materials from the J & L Electric furnaces – that was the South Side mill.”

Five tons of steel rises slowly, slowly, as a powerful crane does its work. This is a plant where generations earned paychecks with their sweat. The sculpture, in their honor, is called “The Workers.”

“I grew up in a small steel town in Mercer County,” Kaulen says. “And I know the impact of the industry, and also the decline of the steel industry. I’m excited that our piece can help to look forward and celebrate the work force, and the spirit of labor that we all share as Pittsburghers.”

Ultimately, the towering statues make their way by flatbed truck to Riverfront Park. They are set down beside to a rusted ladle, also rescued from a Pittsburgh mill.

The sculpture is designed to forge a bond between Pittsburgh’s steel making past and its artistic future.

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