BRIAN C. RITTMEYER| Monday, November 30, 2020
A retired Alcoa aluminum smelting pot that had been displayed at Station Square in Pittsburgh for about 30 years is now part of downtown New Kensington.
The smelter, which originated from an Alcoa plant outside of Massena, N.Y., was placed Monday in the beer garden outside Voodoo Brewery on Fifth Avenue at 10th Street.
The 39,000-pound smelter arrived in two main pieces on separate flatbeds and was assembled with a crane as light rain came down.
Voodoo patrons are expected to be able to sit around it come spring.
“It’s going to be the world’s only smelting pot bar. Who can say that?” brewery owner Michael Malcanas said. “We’re going to light this thing up. It’s gonna be garden art at night and in the winter. It will be a functioning bar in the summer. It will be something super cool and fun that New Kensington people can be proud of to have the only one in the world.”
Alcoa used the smelter from 1958 to 1985, when the potline it was part of was retired. The company donated it to the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.
It was delivered to Pittsburgh in August 1990 as one of the major artifacts secured for display on the Riverside Industrial History Walk along the Station Square riverfront. It was dedicated in March 1991 and displayed near the ramp to the Gateway Clipper.
Brookfield Properties, which acquired former Station Square owner Forest City Realty Trust in 2018, donated the smelter. The nonprofit National Aluminum Production Heritage Association in Massena advocated to find a new home for it and got funding from private donations to pay for the move to New Kensington.