Thursday, November 1, 2012

Iron Works

My city has several claims to fame.  About four actually.  And I've told you about two of them over the years.  But one special feature that I've neglected to share is that we were once the third wealthiest city in the nation.  In great part due to the iron works industry.

The Liberty Bell replacement?  Made here.  More than 90% of the horse shoes used by the Union Army in the Civil War?  Made here.  Lots of other stuff like railroad spikes and more I'm too tired to list?  Made here too.

Of course, like all things that go up, the local economy fell.  And then it plummeted.  Horses were out and cars were in.  And bells...well that's just not the booming industry it once was.  Iron gave way to steel.  Industry changed.  It happens.  It's life.  It's progress.

But my city has held onto some of the finest works of American architecture in the nation.  And outside of many homes and churches, are remains of our once prosperous iron industry.  Fences and railings and church doors, oh my.

More than 100 years old, some more than 150 years old, and still stunning.  Oh sure, love is desperately needed in many areas.  But you could never replace pieces like this. 

These are now humble, middle class homes.  City homes that are more often than not snubbed by the suburban loving locals. 

But that's OK.  We know what we have down here.  And we treasure it.  The devil's in the details.  And we are flush with stunning details!

My favorites in the city are those with pineapples.  A sign of welcome. 

Years ago I took you on a Tiffany tour with me.  I included the inside of this church actually as it is one of our many treasures with an interior designed by L. C. Tiffany.  Yes, as in that Tiffany.  Not just windows.  But the interior.  So pews, alter, tile work, baptismal font, and the list goes on.  Stunning is a ridiculously simple term for what we have here.  I'm lucky, I know!

This is my second favorite fence in the city (I didn't happen to walk by my very favorite when I randomly took these photos last weekend).  Of course this tour-de-fences was not planned so these are all on my blackberry and not very detailed.  But can you see the pineapple at the top there?  And how intricate the fence is?  Swoon!

So what secrets does your city hold?  Does it have a claim to fame (or three)?


Something Delightful by Rachel Timmerman said...

The iron works are just gorgeous!! My Dad has a love for old iron works, so I understand how valuable they can be!

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REBrown said...

Very beautiful!

WorthyStyle said...

My city has very little in the way of secrets persay, but Richmond is certainly full of interesting tidbits of history. Capital of the Confederacy, Hollywood Cemetary, etc.

My hometown is definitely full of neat secrets. RE Lee and Stonewall Jackson lived here. George Washington helped fund the school which later turned into W&L. So that is neat. Lots of haunted history, etc. Gorgeous brick sidewalks with a distinct pattern!

But nothing can beat those iron fences you are showing here. So stunning!


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