Lukens Steel Anniversary: Looking Back Over 200 Years

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Bicentennial Celebration: June 26th Garden Party featuring a World Trade Center Steel “Tree” on display.

This June, the Graystone Society marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of Lukens Steel. In commemoration of that event, a two week long celebration is planned in The Lukens National Historic District, and it all kicks off with a big “Garden Party” on June 26th! Everyone is invited to attend this fun-filled event, which will take attendees through historical “vignettes” of what work life was like at Lukens Steel over the last 200 years. Time period appropriate food and libations will be featured at each station. Special exhibits will be presented and era re-enactors will perform. Special “preview” of a World Trade Center Steel “Tree” and Lukens’ Sonarsphere will be one of the evening’s highlights.

The June 26th “ Garden Party” celebration starts with a 6:00 cocktail hour, then a 6:30 to 7:30 historic marker dedication, featuring local politicians and Graystone Society directors. Following the dedication ceremony, food and touring of the historical vignettes will be featured. Visitors will be able to view Brandywine Mansion, now returned to its original footprint, the Colonial era home of Lukens’ matriarch, Rebecca Pennock Lukens. There, you’ll meet Rebecca and enjoy foods that reflect her colonial heritage.

Lovers of Victoriana will embrace Terracina Mansion. Painstakingly restored over a 10-year period, Terracina, the home of Rebecca Lukens’ daughter, Isabella Pennock Lukens, will welcome visitors to this pristine example of Country Gothic architecture. Marvel at the historical photos that show the Lukens Mill as it was at the turn of the century. Delight in Victorian delicacies! Civil War re-enactors will perform on the grounds.

Across the street, the roaring twenties will be in full swing! Gracious Graystone Mansion, famous for its Collegiate Gothic architecture, semi-circular drive, and gabled eves will welcome excited guests. Flappers will greet visitors, offering them taste temptations and libations from before Prohibition.

Have a yen for the 1960’s and “Mad Men”? Join us in The Lukens Executive Office Building. This classic example of a work environment of the early 20th century will play host to work as it was during the Space Age. The centerpiece of the building, a grand seven-and-a-half-foot wide staircase made of quarter-sawn oak, makes many visitors reminiscent of the lobbies of vintage ocean liners. Stoll down memory lane with foods from your childhood!

Throughout the evening, one will easily fall back in time with the soothing melodies of The Lukens Band. World War II re-enactors will also be adding a feisty note to the festivities!

A succulent Roasted Pig will be the culinary highlight of the evening, along with food and beverage stations, give-aways and a slew of special surprises! To anyone who ever worked at Lukens, lived near Lukens, lived in Coatesville or just read about the rich history of this famous steel company, this is an event not to be missed!

Admission is $50 per person and reservations are required. Dress is business casual. Lawn-appropriate footwear is recommended. Parking is located at the Lukens Executive Office Building, Ash Park and Graystone Mansion.

July 2 will mark the Bicentennial with the re-planting of Rebecca’s Lukens’ beloved Rose Garden in front of the Brandywine Mansion. Rich Smith, Manager of Process and Product Design of Arcelor Mittal will discuss, “Two Hundred Years of Rolling Iron and Steel on the Brandywine.” The annual Victorian Ice Cream Festival (now called “Celebrate Coatesville”) will take place on July 10th.

The Graystone Society, which was created in 1984 to help preserve the city’s historic architecture, also assists with municipal improvement and economic development through preservation. The Graystone Society is named for the Graystone Mansion, part of The Lukens National Historic District, which is the future home of The National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum. This museum will focus on the people, places, products and processes that made The Lukens Mill an outstanding industry in its day.

For information or reservations for this event, kindly contact the Graystone Society at 610-384-9282 or graystone(at)lukensnhd(dot)org

For more information on this release, kindly contact Melinda Williams at The Williams Group, 610-518-4888 or visit http://www.thewilliamsgroup.info .

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MELINDA WILLIAMS
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