Mar 3, 2014 — The first 40 of 76 beehive ovens at Uniondale were completed in 1869 under the leadership of Thomas. W. Watt, at a time when the coke industry

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Connellsville Area Coke Oven Assessment The Uniondale / Reid Brothers Coke Works, Dunbar, PA Stabilization, Restoration and Interpretive Opportunities PFAFFMANN + ASSOCIATES 223 Fourth Avenue Suite 800Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.471.2470 March 2014

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ÒTo the south[east] of Pittsburgh there lie boundless beds of a peculiar soft coal, in strata eleven feet thick, easily mined, and generally easy of access. This coal, slowly baked in great ovens, is the Connellsville coke of commerce, ninety per cent carbonÑa fuel that finds its way to the blast furnaces of Lake Champlain, on the east, and to the smelting furnaces of Utah and Colorado on the west.ÒFive thousand coke ovens to-day send their pernicious fumes heavenward, and the nocturnal appearance of a range of coke ovens in full blast so nearly embodies the orthodox idea of Satanic scenery that unregenerate Pittsburghers have comparatively few surprises in store after this life.ÓÑHarperÕs New Monthly Magazine, December 1880i

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Executive Summary PurposeThis report contains recommendations for developing a longterm strategy for stabilizing, restoring and interpreting coke ovens at the former Uniondale / Reid Brothers Coke Works in Dunbar Borough, Pennsylvania. Now owned by the Borough, the remains of the 76 beehive coke ovens are advantageously located along the Sheepskin Trail, the first phase of a hiking/biking trail that connects the Borough to the Great Allegheny Passage (just two miles away). This report, completed by Pfaffmann + Associates of Pittsburgh in 2013-14, provides an initial structural and interpretive assessment of the ovens and a framework to plan for the future care of this historic resource and community asset. A Significant ResourceThe Uniondale / Reid Brothers site is historically significant as an example of an early, innovative and independent coke operation. The remaining ovens possess integrity that helps convey an important historic shift from small-scale, scattered coke production to larger, concentrated commercial coke works. The first 40 of 76 beehive ovens at Uniondale were completed in 1869 under the leadership of Thomas W. Watt, at a time when the coke industry was in relative infancy. In 1870, for example, the number of coke works in the entire Connellsville Region numbered only around 20, and consisted of a mere 550 or so individual ovens. Prior to construction of the Uniondale works, coke operations tended to be small, consisting typically of a dozen or so ovens. The site further conveys the operations of a coke production facility in the era before Henry Clay Frick dominated the industry and became ÒThe Coke King,Ó beginning around 1880.Successful StewardshipThe steering committee deserves recognition for its successful stewardship of a diverse collection of historic, cultural and recreational resources throughout Southwestern PennsylvaniaÑincluding trails, heritage areas, former industrial sites and a replica beehive coke oven at the Dunbar Historical Society. The collaboration exhibited on this project demonstrates capacity for successfully accomplishing future projects.Key RecommendationsThe design team identified four ovens that are good candidates for stabilization, restoration and interpretation. They are situated near one another in the center of a bank of ovens that date from 1869-74. All four retain their front faces and intact beehive forms, including intact crowns and trunnel openings (the circular top holes through which raw coal was loaded into the ovens).To ensure that the Uniondale / Reid Brothers Coke Works is preserved and interpreted for generations to comeÑand is a successful tourist destination that offers economic benefit to the communityÑsignificant strategic planning and development work should be undertaken.The following planning initiatives are recommended in an order that makes sense from a chronological and fundraising perspective:1.Continue with the effort to determine eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. An initial draft of a Historic Resources Survey Form has been reviewed by PHMC.2.Conduct a site-wide structural needs assessment that examines the condition of each of the 76 ovens in order to identify, prioritize and provide cost estimates for stabilization and restoration (or in some casesÑno activity at all).3.Develop a master plan to establish long-term goals and implementation strategies for the site, which should include articulation of a philosophy to guide the degree of stabilization or restoration across the site. This plan should also define a management structure along with roles and responsibilities, and include a market study to guide the siteÕs interpretive success and fund-raising priorities. The management entity should invite outside stakeholders to participate in aspects of this process.4.Create a site management and interpretive master plan to provide specific direction for future actions and establish best practices for the long-term preservation and interpretation of the Uniondale site. Successful completion and implementation of these steps will help stabilize current conditions and provide a robust and practical strategic vision to guide longterm preservation and interpretation.iii

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Acknowledgments Funding for this report was provided in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Fayette County.The grant was managed by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.Groups participating on the steering committee included:¥Dunbar Borough Council ¥Dunbar Historical Society¥Coal & Coke Heritage Center , Penn State University, Fayette¥Connellsville Historical Society ¥Fayette County Cultural Trust ¥National Road Heritage Corridor¥Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC)¥Preservation Pennsylvania¥Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette ¥Regional Trail Corporation and Allegheny Trail Alliance ¥Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area¥Student Conservation Association¥Sustainable Connellsville ¥Trail Town ProgramAppreciation is extended to the steering committee for its guidance and editorial contributions and to the following individuals:¥Brad Clemenson, Pennsylvania Environmental Council¥Mike Bell, Dunbar Historical Society¥Linda Boxx, Allegheny Trail Alliance¥Elaine DeFrank, Oral Historian, Coal & Coke Heritage Center¥Gene Gallo, Sustainable Connellsville¥Norm Gordon, Dunbar Borough President, and Dunbar Historical Society¥Erin Hammerstedt, Preservation Pennsylvania¥Donna Holdorf, Sheepskin Trail Manager/National Road Heritage Corridor ¥Evelyn Hovanec, former Executive Director, Coal & Coke Heritage Center¥Donna Myers, Dunbar Historical Society¥Tammy Nedrow, Dunbar Borough Secretary¥Will Prince, Trail Town Program¥Cassandra Vivian, Mount Pleasant Cultural TrustSpecial thanks is extended to Sheri Sanzone at Bluegreen, a planning and design firm in Aspen, for information on the Redstone Coke Works; and to Chad Crumrine, Trail Town Outreach Corps, for his collaborative efforts in developing the Historic Resource Survey Form (HRSF)Ña PHMC document for determining historic significance.Design TeamPFAFFMANN + ASSOCIATES Rob Pfaffmann, AIA, AICP, Principal-in-chargeJeff Slack, AICP, Project Manager Jimmy DeCecco, AIA, RASchneider Engineering, LLCJohn Schneider, PE, Principalvii

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Project Scope Pfaffmann + Associates was selected in August 2013 to identify a group of remaining coke ovens in the historic Connellsville Coke Region that could be stabilized, restored and interpreted at a relatively low and, therefore, attainable costÑand to do this at a location that already has substantial visitor traffic. The steering committee felt that it was important to select a site to preserve and interpret Southwestern PennsylvaniaÕs history of coal and coke that was located along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP)Ñor a short distance off on a connected trail. The GAP attracts 800,000 visitors per year, generating over $50 million in spending in Trail Towns. Interpreting the coke story along the GAP offers the advantages of exposing significant numbers of people to this history and building on the success of the GAP as an established tourism destination, thus increasing economic benefits to the community. Four ovens were ultimately selected. The are located at the heart of a bank of 60 beehive ovens at the former Uniondale / Reid Brothers Coke Works. Constructed ca. 1869-74, the ovens are located just off the Sheepskin TrailÑthe two-mile long first phase of a hiking/biking trail that connects the Borough of Dunbar with with GAP. While the work of the design team involved considerable research, structural investigation, cultural resource management planning and interpretive assessment, the project was limited to identification of ovens and initial structural and interpretive assessments. Future phases will produce a structural assessment, site master plan and interpretive plan that are more comprehensive in nature.xi

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