The purpose: To save the Carrie deer, the ultimate lawn ornament.
The party: It was revelry among the ruins as nearly 450 guests came to the Carrie Furnaces in Swissvale Saturday night. Actor David Conrad acted as honorary chair of the event, which raised funds for Rivers of Steel, the organization committed to preserving historic and cultural sites related to the region's steel industry. Entertainment came from The Beagle Brothers band and education from a documentary by Sharon and Ken Brown about the creation of the 40-foot deer head by seven artists working with steel and other materials left on the millsite. Former steel worker Jim Kapusta was one of several volunteers conducting tours of the mill and dancers from the Pillow Project acted as human statues. "The deer represents life and hope in the face of decay," said Mr. Conrad. "We came out every Sunday to work on it and we never thought it would last this long. It has been here 17 years," said Liz Hammond, one of its creators.
The People: Among those having a blast at the old blast furnaces were Rivers of Steel director Augie Carlino, Rob and Cathy Lewis-Long, Sean Derry, Chris McGinnis, WQED's Rick Sebak, Ron Baraff and Jack Bellas.