The wrought iron Phoenix Columns here in the Symbols of Steel Sculpture Garden once supported the floors of the Stegmaier Brewery, a Wilkes-Barre, PA, landmark. The Romanesque style brewery building was constructed in the late 19th century and continued in operation until 1974.
Samuel Reeves designed the Phoenix Column here at the Phoenix Iron Company. It was patented in 1862. As an important architectural and engineering innovation, the Phoenix Column was used for bridges all over the United States and as far away as Russia and Japan. Because of its resistance to corrosion, it was used for several piers along the New Jersey seacoast. It also provided structural support for many important projects, including the Vanderbilt Mansion in Asheville, NC; the Washington Monument; and the first elevated train in New York City.
The sculpture garden was conceived and designed by Barbara Cohen and Charles Berger. Structural design was provided by Jan Vacca, landscape design by Joe Orsatti, column installation by John Phillips, and column restoration by Barry Chendorain. The columns were transported to Phoenixville courtesy of Joseph Mooney.