1889 Foundation has provided $250,000 to support the Phase 2 development of the Center for Metal Arts, an internationally known forging school in residence in historic Cambria Iron Company buildings in Johnstown.

1889 Foundation’s grant for the project will be administered by Pittsburgh Gateways, a non-profit organization supporting community-based development in economically distressed areas of the state, which is serving as master developer and funding partner for CMA. Pittsburgh Gateways, in collaboration with the CMA and the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, has already attracted more than $6.1 million in grants for the CMA from the Appalachian Regional Commission and others. (Photo above, left to right: Bob Meeder and Sharon Place of Pittsburgh Gateways; Susan Mann, president of 1889 Foundation; and Patrick Quinn, executive director of the Center for Metal Arts.)

“Pittsburgh Gateways is proud to partner with CMA and Johnstown Redevelopment Authority on this exciting restoration to advance the mission of Center for Metal Arts, drive economic development, and pay tribute to Johnstown’s dynamic heritage,” said Sharon Place, development officer at Pittsburgh Gateways. “We are incredibly grateful to 1889 Foundation for crucial funding to realize the full campus vision.”

“We are so happy to have partnered with Pittsburgh Gateways,” said Patrick Quinn, executive director of the CMA. “Their hard work is monumental helping to accelerate CMA’s growth as an internationally renowned forging school. We look forward to continuing to work with them developing our campus to support our growing programs.”

Specifically, the 1889 grant will fund these activities:

  • Concept sketches and schematic drawings for Phase 2 development, to complete restoration of the iconic buildings on the national historic landmark Cambria Iron Works site. This will include documentation to meet criteria for Historic Preservation tax credit. The renovations will help attract further funding to create the full vision of a “Metal Arts Village.”
  • Development and testing of a corporate-led metals industry entry-level workforce training program in collaboration with Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI).
  • The merger of this project with several other active Johnstown place-based economic development initiatives.
    Additional site improvements, including the creation of a campus gate.

“The continued development of the Center for Metal Arts addresses and improves the social determinants of health by improving livability,” said Susan Mann, president of 1889 Foundation. “The CMA is becoming a vital hub for metalworking, metalworking training, and heritage tourism, stimulating job development and meaningful economic diversification.”