A shell of its former self, Braddock, PA has suffered a 90% population decline since the 1920’s with just over 2,000 residents remaining. The town was based around United States Steel Corporation’s Mon Valley Works – Edgar Thomson Plant. The plant is one of only a few remaining operation steel mills in the United States. When the plant workers finally started get a fair wage, they finally had the ability to move away from living directly beside the plant and were drive to work. None of the steel mills current workers live within Braddock’s city limits. The city is rough shape with not much of a future in sight. The current Mayor, John Fetterman, has worked hard to get Braddock back on a path moving forward and regrowing. The forward movement seems to have not much of a future but only time will tell. I think Mr. Fetterman would be a political leader that most places could only wish for. He is one the peoples side and has worked relentlessly to make Braddock a success story.
Braddock is located along the Monongahela River in the Mon River Valley just south of Pittsburgh. The borough has a rough looking half empty main street business district. The surrounding neighborhoods are fill with abandoned homes and vacant lots. The plumes of water vapor from the US Steel Plant hang above the city with the smell of new steel downwind of the plant. Braddock is also home to the first Carnegie Library which still stands there today. The empty lot sits where the hospital use to stand tall.
Prints from the Braddock photo set can be bought here.