Project Description

McLouth Steel was a steel manufacturing company. The company had three locations. The first plant was built in 1934 in Detroit. That plant is still in use (somewhat) today and currently owned by Jones & Laughlin Steel Company. The second location was built in 1948 in Trenton, Michigan. This site is abandoned and the one of focus here. The third location, a cold mill, was built in 1954 in Gibraltar, Michigan. The Gibraltar cold mill is owned by Steel Rolling Holdings, and is still in use as a steel mill.

McLouth Steel was started in Detroit in 1934 by Donald B. McLouth. The plant was producing steel products, but soon realized that they needed a bigger plant. In 1948, McLouth Steel started its $100 million expansion program by purchasing riverfront property in Trenton. The site was laid out and four sixty ton electric arc furnaces were installed. Also included on the site were soaking pits, a blooming mill, a steckel mill, an down-coiler, steel-rollers, casters, cooling tubs, polishers, laboratories, finishing equipment, and of course, blast-furnaces. McLouth Steel was soon established as one of the best steel manufacturing plants in Michigan.

Production at McLouth Steel was in high demand over the years, but things began to shift in the market in more recent years. With production decreasing and newer technology becoming more and more expensive, McLouth Steel
was sold to Detroit Steel Company in 1996. Detroit Steel Company tried to live up to McLouth’s reputation, but after numerous attempts, the Trenton plant was forced to shut down all production in 1997.

In 2009, crews demolished McLouth’s electric distribution infrastructure, leaving the massive complex without any power. Over the next few years, many other separate buildings were demolished at the former McLouth Steel plant.

In 2015, the former McLouth Steel plant is still abandoned. There is active security cameras on the site and the owner still comes to the building often. The only building that remains on the entire complex is the main building. There are no current plans to redevelop, renovate, or demolish the former McLouth Steel plant.