Dancers Take Over Ruins Of U.S. Steel’s South Works

CHICAGO (CBS) — The art of dance and music will rise from the ruins at what was once the largest steel mill in the country.

Erica Mott Productions will hold a dance performance at Steelworkers Park, at 87th Street in Southeast Chicago to celebrate the generations of steelworkers who once worked there, WBBM’s Catherine Catalane reports.

The mutlimedia dance-theatre performance, “Trials and Trails” will take place Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept 17 at 7:30 p.m. The performances are a part of Chicago Park District’s free Night Out in the Parks series and will include dancing on the monumental iron ore walls, all that remains of the mill that closed in 1992.

“We’re going to use 60 foot of an iron ore wall as our giant projection screen and backdrop,” Erica Mott said in a preview video for the event. “It will be about the steel industry, the history of the Region and also the natural history of the Region.”

U.S. Steel’s South Works was once the largest steel mill in the nation, with over 20,000 working there.
Now all that is left on the lakefront site is the ruins of iron ore walls and empty fields.

Chicago opened Steelworkers Park on part of the mill site in 2014. Developer McCaffery Interests abandoned a hugely ambitious plan to create a city-within-a-city with condo towers and a marina on the site earlier this year, since then, U.S. Steel has been looking for new development partners.

Erica Mott Productions worked for a year on the project, which will feature the Marching Mustangs drum line.

Free on-site parking will be available along 87th Street at Steelworkers Park. Shuttles will run from the Northerly Island Visitor Center, 1521 S. Lynn White Drive.

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