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Donora’s ‘Cement City’ will be featured as part of the Miniature Railroad & Village at the Carnegie Science center, a huge honor for the town of Donora, the Cement City Historic District residents and the Donora Historical Society.

Railroad Dec 18
Donora’s Cement City (in miniature) at the Carnegie Science Center

The plans started last April, after a Carnegie Science Center representative took a Cement City Home and Walking Tour. The Donora Historical Society was approached to consider a project with them to possibly replicate a Cement City home for their Miniature Railroad & Village. Since the Donora Historical Society still had the original blueprints and photographs from when Cement City was created in 1916, the project was launched, and everyone involved was sworn to secrecy.

Through the summer months the Historical Society continued to answer questions about architectural details (i.e., stucco paint, shingle colors, etc.) and provided even more photographs. Eventually, the Historical Society was informed that there would be not just one home, but a grouping of six completed homes and one under construction, circa 1916/1917, that would make up the featured addition of the Miniature Railroad & Village in 2018.

By October, the miniature Cement City homes were nearly complete when Carnegie Science Center’s railroad modelers, marketers and docents visited Donora for their very own private Cement City tour so they could prepare to narrate the Cement City story for their Miniature Railroad & Village visitors. In November, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Miniature Railroad & Village and invitation to the opening day press conference were provided to members of the Donora Historical Society. The Cement City homes were then unveiled to the general public November 15th.

Please visit the Carnegie Science Center’s Miniature Railroad & Village to see Cement City in miniature, then consider taking a Cement City Home and Walking Tour in 2019 (April 14, 15 or May 4, 5) to see the homes full scale. Please RSVP for the walking tour by emailing the Donora Historical Society or calling and leaving a message. If you have any questions about Cement City, the Home and Walking Tours or the project with the Carnegie Science Center’s Miniature Railroad & Village, please visit the DHS website www.donorahistoricalsociety.org and click the “Cement City” tab, or contact the historical society.

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