History of the Abandoned St. Nicholas Coal Breaker
Named after the first run coal that took place on Christmas day, the Abandoned St. Nicholas Coal Breakerr was once the world’s largest breaker, taking up the size of a city block, and processed more than 12,000 tons of anthracite a day. St. Nick’s was built in 1931, using 3,800 tons of steel, and consisted of 10 different floors.
The idea of coal breakers came to life in the the 1840’s, and the idea was simple. Their job was to take large, oversized pieces of raw anthracite and convert it into smaller, more suitable pieces that would be used for smelting iron, powering trains, running machines, and used for heat.
Operations at St. Nick’s came to a stop in the 1960’s, and the breaker sat dormant and abandoned ever since. Even though the breaker was one of the last remaining structures of it’s kind, and an important part of history for the region of Pennsylvania that relied heavily on the coal breaker, it was seen as an eyesore. The breaker slowly underwent dismantling starting in 2017, and was completely demoed in March 0f 2018. Many of the local residents were against the demolition, and wanted to see the building saved, with the mention of turning it into a museum or monument to the important coal era.
Photos of St. Nick's Coal Breaker
These photos of the Abandoned St. Nicholas Coal Breaker were taken on a dark, gloomy day in April of 2014. Our trip was cut a little short, so we didn’t see the entire complex.