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Donora in Washington County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cement City

 
 
Cement City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, July 24, 2011
1. Cement City Marker
Inscription.  Located four blocks to the west. Built 1916-1917 as housing for employees at American Steel and Wire's Donora plant. A community of 100 units in 80 Prairie-style buildings, noted for the innovative use of poured-in-place concrete construction. One of several concrete communities built in the United States during this era, Cement City survived to house successive generations of families. A National Register Historic District.
 
Erected 1997 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceLabor Unions. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission series list.
 
Location. 40° 10.083′ N, 79° 51.725′ W. Marker is in Donora, Pennsylvania, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of McKean Avenue (Pennsylvania Route 837) and Chestnut Street, on the right when traveling south on McKean Avenue. Located next to this marker is Victims of the 1948 Donora Smog plaque.
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Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Donora PA 15033, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In Loving Memory of the 1948 Smog Disaster Victims (here, next to this marker); Borough of Donora Veteran's War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1948 Donora Smog (approx. 0.7 miles away); Stan "The Man" Musial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Rabe Manor (approx. one mile away); Christian B. Anfinsen (approx. 1.2 miles away); Webster Honor Roll (approx. 1.4 miles away); M4A3 Combat Full-Tracked 76mm Sherman Tank (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Donora.
 
Regarding Cement City. Ard Hesselink, Bellingwolde, the Netherlands provided the construction photos via his flickr website, from his cousin Gijsbert Hesselink, Alkmaar (The Netherlands)

Laurens Rijnhart (1886-1925) in America

After having studied engineering in Zurich, Switzerland, my grandfather's brother, great-uncle Laurens Rijnhart Hesselink (1886-1925) left for the USA where he worked in construction of bridges, housing, etc.

Genealogy cousin Gijs recently inherited a series of photographs of building sites he probably worked on, which Laurens Rijnhart left after his untimely death in
Cement City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, July 24, 2011
2. Cement City Marker
1925. We recently embarked on an investigation via flickr trying to find out where exactly these photographs were taken.

Thanks to stonewheel (he noticed the sign in picture #12 and googled the name he found) we now know that many of these pictures were taken at the construction site of the "Lambie Company's fireproof housing project" in Donora, PA, using concrete in a revolutionary new building method, developed by the great inventor Thomas Edison .

We knew that Laurens was in Donora in 1917 (see the map I made Laurens Rijnhart in America (1886-1925)) which turns out to be the year that the project was delivered as well.

If he actually worked on it, we don't know but we are happy the site has now been identified.
 
Also see . . .  Ard Hesselink's flickr page on Cement City. A little insight into the construction of Cement City which his great-uncle Laurens Rijnhart (1886-1925) may have helped with construction. (Submitted on July 31, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.) 
 
Cement City Construction image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, circa 1917
3. Cement City Construction
Courtesy: Gijsbert Hesselink, Alkmaar (The Netherlands)
Cement City Construction image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, circa 1917
4. Cement City Construction
Courtesy: Gijsbert Hesselink, Alkmaar (The Netherlands)
Cement City Construction image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, circa 1917
5. Cement City Construction
Courtesy: Gijsbert Hesselink, Alkmaar (The Netherlands)
Cement City Construction image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, circa 1917
6. Cement City Construction
Courtesy: Gijsbert Hesselink, Alkmaar (The Netherlands)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,299 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 31, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Feb. 27, 2024