40th/39th Streets Pittsburgh PA United States 15201
The Allegheny Arsenal, established in 1814, was an important supply and manufacturing center for the Union Army during the American Civil War, and the site of the single largest civilian disaster during the war.Today, the site is the location of the nine-acre Arsenal Park in the Central Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.In 2012, officials from the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation began drawing attention to the deteriorating arsenal structures.History and useThe Arsenal was established by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department near Pittsburgh in 1814. It was situated on 30acre of land bordering the Allegheny River in the community of Lawrenceville.The arsenal served as a supply and manufacturing center for the troops in the west. Its peak years came during the Civil War, especially when the manufacture of cartridges, became a high priority. Civilian employment at the arsenal increased from a pre-war total of 308 to over 1100 workers. One of the busiest facilities was the main lab, which employed 158 workers, the majority of whom were women engaged in the making of cartridges.ExplosionOn Wednesday, September 17, 1862, around 2 pm, the arsenal exploded. The explosion shattered windows in the surrounding community and was heard in Pittsburgh, over two miles (3 km) away. At the sound of the first explosion, Col. John Symington, Commander of the Arsenal, rushed from his quarters and made his way up the hillside to the lab. As he approached, he heard the sound of a second explosion, followed by a third. Fire fighting equipment as well as a bucket brigade tried to douse the flames with water. The volunteer fire company from Pittsburgh arrived and assisted in bringing the fire under control.