Thursday, January 28, 2021

Buffalo, NY: Donner-Hanna Coke Corp.


Donner-Hanna Coke was owned by National Steel and Republic Steel and supplied their Buffalo plants. I could not find a decent photo of the coke ovens.

I got the location of the plant from the comment on this post.
Steel Plant Museum of Western New York posted
Today we are sharing an aerial photo of Republic Steel. Near the bend in the Buffalo River you will notice both the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) shop in operation as well as the new ore bridge, both added in the early 1970's. The Donner-Hanna Coke Plant is at the upper right corner. This site is now home to the Tesla/Solar City complex.

James Cavanaugh Photography posted
From My Archives. A 1983 view of the long gone Republic Steel Plant in Buffalo, NY.
Jim Conlin: And DONNER HANNA COKE. I was the Fire Marshal there in a previous life, so long ago.
Bubba Dubs: This was the coke plant of Donner Steel (Original name of Republic) and Hanna Furnace company, a joint venture. The Union slip was the iron making facility and this was the coke plant. This also supplied Republic once they purchased it.
The Republic facility was originally New York State steel, then became Donner steel, finally Republic.
Jim ConlinHanna Furnace was near Bethlehem Steel. They were owned by National Steel. Donner Hanna Coke was a joint venture owned by Republic Steel and National Steel. They were located on Abby and Mystic Streets right near Republic Steel.
Bubba Dubs shared
Another Jim Cavanaugh photograph. 1983 photo of Donner Hanna Coke and Republic Steel Buffalo NY.
Michael Maitland: Wow - thanks for this great photo (more if you have them) The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western's passenger main line cuts right through the Republic plant, crosses the black bridge to their downtown station. Route of the crack passenger train the "Phoebe Snow" Buffalo to Hoboken (Ferry to NYC).
James Torgeson: Michael Maitland Right! In this view, Republic has removed the City Branch embankment that once divided the plant. It purchased the ROW from Conrail.

I include Republic Steel in this topo excerpt so that you can see the bends in the river and determine the overall location. Note the circle marked Gas on the east side of the coke plant. That would be the gas holder. When making steel, gas is a byproduct. In other towns, before electricity, they would have a plant to make gas and coke was the byproduct. For example, the gas plant in Fort Wayne, IN, was on the north side of the downtown. I know that at least some steel plants burned the gas to heat the ovens. I wonder if gas plants burned the coke to heat the ovens. I also noticed on the map that there are two roundhouses.
1948 Buffalo SE Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

I learned from studying Chicago steel plants that steel plants pollute the land, but coke plants were much worse. That explains why so much of the results of a Google search concerns law suits and superfunds.

James Torgeson posted four images with the comment: "The Donner-Hanna Coke Corp. Coke Breeze newsletter from November 1938. Donner-Hanna closed in 1982 when the Buffalo plants of its two owners, National Steel and Republic Steel, also closed."


Digitally Zoomed



Will Jamison posted
Since we're on Donner Hannah Coke here's one from Jim Kinkaids collection on Smugmug.

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