Cambria Iron National Historic Landmark
CMA is located in the Cambria Iron National Historic Landmark. The historic Blacksmith Shop was home to the Cambria Iron Co. until 1923 when it was bought out by Bethlehem Steel. It employed one hundred people that ran three shifts per day, producing a wide variety of tools and forgings for the steel mill. The building contains very rare forging tools and equipment that CMA is in the process of refurbishing.
Center for Metal Arts campus currently comprises five buildings; the Blacksmith Shop, Rolling Mill Office Building, Pattern Shop, Guard Shack, and CMA House. Our goal is to provide the forging community with quality facilities in which to work and learn. Our location, the historic Cambria Iron and Steel complex, is filled with history, culture, and inspiration that we are excited to share with all who come to visit and learn.
The Blacksmith Shop
The earliest surviving building of the Cambria Iron Works, the Blacksmith Shop was erected circa 1864. Located within the ten-acre Cambria Iron Works Complex, the Blacksmith Shop is the most historically significant of the structures. Originally owned by the Cambria Iron Company, the Blacksmith Shop produced a wide range of metal products throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Blacksmith Shop is a large brick structure that was constructed in at least five stages. The original building is octagonal shaped with an octagonal cupola, containing heavy timbered roof trusses with iron tension rods, common-bond red brick walls and pilasters. In the 1870s, a rectangular wing was added to the west elevation and in 1885 another wing was added on the east elevation. It retains a full complement of original turn-of-the-century forging and smithing tools and a variety of steam-powered hammers, including a ten-ton steam hammer. Restoration and refurbishment for this shop is currently underway.
The Carpenter Shop
Historically known as the Pattern Shop, the Carpenter Shop was built circa 1870 and is a two-story brick bearing wall structure with wood frame floor and roof construction. The Carpenter Shop was originally used to make wooden patterns for castings in the adjacent foundry that serviced the Iron Works. Nearby a series of two-story timber-frame buildings, containing brick nogging, were erected in the 1880s and served as pattern storage houses until the 1920s when they were torn down. The only major additions to the building occurred in 1890 when a two-story, gable-roofed addition to the North, along with a three-story, brick, fire hose tower. Currently the Pattern Shop is where our forging classroom is located, along with our research studio. Soon to be home of the metalsmithing studio and wood shop.
The Rolling Mill Office Building
The Cambria Iron Compnay erected this two-and-one-half story building in 1874 to serve as an office for its rolling mill operations. Originally it contained an intersecting gable roof, covered with slate windows with gothic arches, and a wrought-iron spiral staircase by a wooden cupola.The floor and ceilings were constructed with vaulted brick arches spanning between wrought iron (possibly steel) rails. This building will hold CMA galleries, store, library, photo room, and offices.
At CMA we pride ourselves in the quality of our forging classroom. Our staff works hard to make sure students have all the tools they need, everything is properly dressed and safe to use, and all of our equipment is well maintained.
Our classroom can accommodate eight students per workshop and has ample tooling and equipment for each individual to work efficiently and safely. All of our tongs, hammers, top tools, and hand tools are forged by our staff and we are constantly adding to our student tooling to help ensure the best possible learning experience.
As well as ample hand tools, anvils, vices, and swage blocks, our students have access to both solid fuel and gas furnaces. For larger forgings there are three self-contained air hammers available. With plenty of open and personal space, we have created a quality and safe environment for blacksmiths to work and learn.