Coplay Cement Kilns Tour

  • 10 Jun 2017
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Saylor Park, 245 N 2nd St, Coplay, PA 18037.

Registration

Please join APT-DVC on Saturday, June 10 for a tour of the Coplay Cement Company Kilns in Coplay, PA. These masonry structures represent a unique chapter in cement manufacturing and have been the focus of recent research and restoration efforts.

The nine vertical kilns, now standing in the middle of a community park, were constructed of locally made red brick between 1893 and 1904 and were utilized for the production of Portland cement. They are the last remaining examples of the vertical kiln type in the US and possibly the world, having been made obsolete soon after their construction by the introduction of the more efficient rotary kilns. Once part of a complex of cement plants along the Lehigh River, the kilns were fortunately saved from the demolition of the rest of the site in 1951. However, today the kilns are deteriorating dramatically. In particular, several of the kilns have experienced large “blowouts” of the outer wythe of brick.

This tour will be conducted by Preston Hull of Building Conservation Associates and Brian Wentz, PE, CDT of Keast & Hood, and Erik Valentino from Masonry Preservation Services. They will discuss the history of the site, deterioration and preservation issues, and future plans for the kilns. The tour should last approximately 2 hours. Lunch is included in the registration.

Safety Equipment

The tour includes a hardhat walkthrough of the site. Please bring your own hardhat. If you cannot provide a hardhat, please email Kevin Wohlgemuth (kwohlgemuth@bcausa.com) and APT-DVC may be able to provide one for your use.

Directions

The Coplay Kilns are about 1.5 hours north of Philadelphia. Follow directions to Saylor Park, 245 N 2nd St, Coplay, PA 18037. 

Our tour will begin at 11 am on Saturday, June 10. Attendees should carpool to the site. Please let Kevin know if you can volunteer to drive others. The registration fee for carpool drivers (at least 3 in a car) will be refunded as reimbursement for gas.

Registration:

$20 for members / $35 for non-members (lunch included in registration) 

Free for carpool drivers (at least 3 in a car)

Limit 25 attendees


Reference Material:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-coplay-kilns-preservation-effort-20160618-story.html

http://repository.upenn.edu/hp_theses/611/