Tag Archives: Arcelor Mittal

Ohio – Hub Of The Rust Belt

This Christmas, I made the long drive from Boulder back to northeast Ohio to visit my family. I don’t like it there. If it weren’t for my entire family living there, I would likely never go back. It sits in the hub of the rust belt, so called because of the decline of industry (particularly the steel industry) in the US in the 70s, evidenced by abandoned, rusting factories, and leaving many towns looking run down and depressed. The decrepit state of things combined with the 300+ days of gray per year sends me into a downward spiral of depression every time I go back.

I lived near a town called Warren that, to me, epitomizes the state of the area with plenty of housing projects, old, abandoned buildings, and of course, factories. One night, on a drive back from a friend’s house, I decided to stop at a factory that has this great eternal flame. The factory is owned by Arcelor Mittal and converts metallurgical-grade coal into high-grade blast furnace coke. The facility also contains a by-products operation that processes coke oven off gases into useful, valuable by-products. I don’t know what the eternal flame is burning, but it is ALWAYS burning and it is huge. The following photos give a little glimpse of the factory, a common sight that always brings back that dirty, depressing feeling I get when I drive through Warren. It was extremely cold that night, so the steam was intense and well lit by the factory lights and the flame.

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The eternal flame…

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