We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Essential Pittsburgh”

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Homestead
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area conserves, interprets and develops historical, cultural and recreational resources throughout western Pennsylvania. Destinations include the Carrie Blast Furnaces Nos. 6 and 7, Pinkerton's Landing, the Pump House at the Site of the former United States Steel Homestead Works, The Bost Building, and the W.A. Young Foundry and Machine Shop at Rices Landing. Rivers of Steel offers a variety of tours and events to share the region's evolution from colonial settlement to "Big Steel" to the modern era.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

My daughter and I took the self-guided Carrie Furnance tour yesterday, and we gained an appreciation for the hard work that helped to make Pittsburgh an important industrial city, and the magnitude of the loss when those jobs disappeared. A fascinating industrial ruin, with the freedom to wander around the huge site, and knowledgeable docents who greatly added to the experience.

I loved the Carrie deer, and the story of the artists who created it. Go see it!

Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared to climb steps, jump over some gaps, etc. There's a reason they make you sign a waiver to go on the tour, but there would be no better way to get an idea of the work done here. Unless they subjected the visitors to extreme heat, rain, carbon monoxide emissions, etc. One of the guides who used to work at this plant said they used to say the only difference between working at a blast furnace and Hell is that at the blast furnace you could go home at the end of the shift. So maybe losing jobs like that isn't such a bad thing? But you'll think about the economics of it all, and what, if anything, has replaced those jobs.

3  Thank Needsavacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (50)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"blast furnace"
in 15 reviews
"pump house"
in 5 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 5 reviews
"across the river"
in 5 reviews
"industrial history"
in 3 reviews
"industrial site"
in 3 reviews
"walking tour"
in 2 reviews
"fantastic tour"
in 2 reviews
"history buff"
in 2 reviews
"andrew carnegie"
in 2 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 5 reviews

47 - 50 of 50 reviews

Reviewed May 22, 2013

I visited the Bort House after walking around the Pump House and general area in which the famous Homestead Strike of 1892 took place. Rivers of Steel has done an excellent job of documenting this history, providing publications, photographs and an excellent video history that I bought and am grateful to have. Excellent living history.

2  Thank DMilo46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2013

OK, in my mind, if you're gonna see Pittsburgh, you've got to see the iron & steel industry that put the city on the map. Where else can you tour an old iron-making furnace with guides who actually worked there? Now, it's not easy to plan a visit, given the old factory's only open on weekends and not during the winter, but if you can plan your visit to take advantage of the tours, they are more than worth the effort. You'll get up close and personal with the old furnaces, which (other than the rust and weeds) are just like they were left when they were shut down 30 years ago. Hint: a quick pre-read on the Internet on how iron and steel are made will help set you up for an immediate appreciation of the significance of what you're about to walk through.

8  Thank Wile-E-One
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Please try to tour this abandoned steel mill. Nothing has been done to pretty it up. You can almost feel what it was like to have worked in this dark and dangerous place. You'll find workers' gloves and personal items simply left when they closed. If you are a photographer, you'll be overwhelmed with the opportunities. Great docents. A true national treasure of what made Pittsburgh 'Steel Country'

3  Thank Peter V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area also viewed


Been to Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing