Derry Redevelopment Project - Porcelain Park Area
|Located between West Third Street and the mainline of Norfolk Southern Railway in the Borough of Derry is the former Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Industrial Ceramics site, a one-time 600,000 square foot manufacturing facility used to prepare the plant’s ceramic insulators. The building was a result of many decades’ worth of additions with some of the areas functionally obsolete and over time was demolished in sections leaving approximately 100,000 square feet of space. The unused portions of the facility further deteriorated causing even more blight in the heart of the local community.
As part of a renewed focus by the county’s Redevelopment Authority to rehabilitate and reinvigorate downtown areas, the remaining dilapidated portions of the structure were recently demolished and the property completely cleared of hazardous materials leaving a 19.3 acre site. With its rail access and industrial zoning, the property is deemed a valuable asset to the industrial market.
Now - Derry Business Park - A Rail-Served Site
|A Brief History Of The Site
In the midst of regional progress is the small town of Derry Borough looking towards the future for opportunities, growth and an enduring place in history. Derry, originally known as Derry Station, was created in 1852 to serve the Pennsylvania Railroad where a railroad station was first built on the Derry Redevelopment – Porcelain Park site in the nucleus of the community. The railroad erected a frame engine house big enough to accommodate six locomotives. With limited working area in the building, the servicing and repairs to the engines had to be performed outside so a second engine house of brick construction was later built to accommodate more engines and sufficient work areas.
The railroad successfully reached its ultimate objective of connecting Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on December 10, 1852 and the first locomotive, the Henry Clay, made the initial run between two cities before the end of the year. The Main Line was so called the railroad, which consisted of a single track.
In 1869 or 1870, famous to the industry, the first “Y” rails for turning engines were then manufactured at this same site which enabled engines to travel east or west, and consequently, the terminal in Derry acquired the status as the main center of operations between Pittsburgh and Altoona. Because of its location, Derry became one of the most important stations on the Pennsylvania Railroad. Here, all freight cars were overhauled, inspected, weighed, separated and made into trains and routed on their journeys.