07/2010 Update: Building Four of the American Steel and Iron Works was saved from demolition by the county in 1999 following public outcry. At that time the county funded stabilization of the building and repaired the roof, repointed the bricks, and made other repairs. Over the years there have been plans to rehabilitate the building for various uses including a restaurant and an entertainment complex, but none of these happened. The county is currently running a $5 million rehabilitation to turn the building into new offices for the Mercer County Improvement Authority who is overseeing the project. A possible retail use is also planned for the first floor.
The Trenton Iron Company and 1872 Wire Mill are excellent examples of post-Civil War architecture. Founded by Peter Cooper and his son-in-law Abram Hewitt, the Iron Company was, for years, the largest iron manufacturer in the United States. The site on which the Iron Company and Mill rests was threatened by developers, but with some careful and clever planning, the buildings were saved from demolition. Peter Cooper went on to develop the Cooper Union in New York City, the first free technical college for men and women, and his three granddaughters went on to create the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, also in New York City.
1872 Wire Mill; premier post CW industrial architecture; exposed to vandalism and deterioration; threatened by Mercer County Arena development ; original plans called for resue of 1910 carpenter shop; 1853 pattern shop; 1885; blacksmith shop and 1888 machine shop (all destroyed) all together 44 buildings from Roebling and Iron works demolished; saved only by interest of county freeholder Brian Hughes
Jerry Harcar, Landmarks Commission
Trenton, NJ 08650
609 989 3582
Mercer County Improvement Authority
McDade Administration Building
640 South Broad Street
Trenton, NJ 08650