|Photo credit PACT Web Site|
Once much taller when the smoke stack burned coal Now of days it burns Oil or Natural Gas this was one of 2 plants that produced steam to heat buildings and there hot water systems in the down town area. which where once known as Allegheny County Steam Heat Company which was a subsidiary of Duquesne Light Company .
Back in the day it was much more pollution wise and economic wise to have centralized steam provided by one stack instead of several hundred separate operating coal fired boilers .
But as time and technology rolls on it became cheaper for some buildings to go it on there own and install there own boilers and disconnect from the system which ended up being rescued and now operates as a non profit Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal. Ltd.
How ever the real story of this building goes way back to 1948when the stack and building where being being repaired and scaffolding collapsed and involved tremendous courage and heroics by one of the workers to save another several hundred feet up in the air Which resulted in the awarding of the Carnegie hero medal
The rescue is unbelievable when a boatswain chair collapsed and a worker from Avalon Ross Chapman hanging by one leg on one rung of a ladder rescued a fellow worker.
Ironically he saved the same worker Samuel Hopkins years earlier in a flag pole mishap on a different job site on Private Brunot Island which Duquesne Light maintains a large power plant .
While never considering himself a hero Mr. Chapman surely was.