Friday, January 6, 2017

American Bridge Co. office, west side, 1911

Ambridge's American Bridge Co. plant was once the world's largest structural steel fabricating plant in the world. It ended virtually all production in mid-1982, and then closed completely in the spring of 1984.

The company's huge brick office building was built in 1903, two years before Ambridge was incorporated. If there ever was a building in Ambridge bigger than the office--other than plant or mill buildings--I can't think of one.

The "Bridge Works" office stood on Park Rd. south of the intersection of what is now 4th St. Most of the postcards of the building show the Park Rd. side--the east facade. The postcard below shows the only postcard or photo that I remember seeing so far with a good view of the west side which faced the rail tracks and plant buildings. This view gives a good perspective on how much higher the office stood than the plant which it faced.

American Bridge Company offices, west side
postmarked 1911

At the time this postcard was made, the western-most street in that part of Ambridge was Park Rd. Ohio River Blvd., (currently Rt. 65), which now runs north and south between Park Rd. and the rail tracks, wasn't extended from the Allegheny County line to Ambridge's 8th St. until 1945.

The photo below shows where the hill was cut away and a retaining wall erected when Ohio River Blvd. was built.

American Bridge footbridge over Ohio River Blvd.
American Bridge office building to the right above the road
Beaver Valley Times,
February 13, 1954

In August 2016, the only structure standing on the office's former site was a new borough sanitary sewer system pumping station on the southeast corner of 4th St. and Ohio River Blvd. This photo was shot from Park Rd. looking west. You can see a tiny bit of a former American Bridge plant building peeking between the trees to the right.

Ambridge Sanitary Sewer Pumping Station
intersection of 4th St. and Ohio River Blvd.
August 21, 2016
credit: Nancy Knisley 

Here's a scan of the back of the postcard:

Reverse of postcard above
July 21, 1911 postmark

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