Bessemer Commerce Park

Bessemer Commerce Park is located in Meadville.

This space is located in two adjacent former rail road buildings originally constructed in 1865. Each facility has been beautifully renovated by the Economic Progress Alliance and is available for immediate occupancy. Tenants ranging from 2,400 to 15,000 square feet can be easily accommodated with highly competitive rates and terms. Current occupants of the Bessemer Commerce Park include First National Insurance, Precision Manufacturing Institute, Bournias Cervone Derlink Hutchinson & Assocs., Gannon Small Business Development Ctr., Voodoo Brewery and the Economic Progress Alliance.

There is currently professional office space available at this property. Call us today to discuss!

Building History

In July, 1857, citizens of Meadville organized a railroad company under the name of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad (A&GW) to construct a road through the counties of Crawford and Mercer. Prominent in the movement were such public-spirited gentlemen as William Reynolds, Esq., Gen. John Dick, Hon. G. Church, J.J. Shryock, Esq., Jas R. Dick, Esq. Hon. D.A. Finney, and others of Meadville.

In earlier years, John Reynolds (father of William) had been instrumental in bringing the French Creek Feeder Canal through Meadville. When William was 20 years old, having finished his college degree and completed his law studies, John sent him on a Grand Tour of America. He set off in 1841 by canal boat to visit friends and family on the east coast, to explore upper ranges of the south and to travel west to Cincinnati. On this trip William fell in love with trains. When his hometown of Meadville decided ten years later that it needed trains, he was the first volunteer for the project and he stuck with it until it was safely established (about 1864). His home overlooked the “island” that was home to the facilities.

The A&GW took over the “island”, a large land mass between two arms of French Creek, the North end at the current Spring Street Bridge and the South end of the current Mead Avenue, then known as Dock Street. Meadville became the headquarters for the A&GW RR. Buildings that were originally constructed in 1865 consisted of a round house, a massive repair shop structure housing the tool shop, machine shop and carpenter shops, and a foundry and locomotive shop. Today, two structures remain on approximately 10 acres of land. The first is the foundry (car shop); a 34,000 sq. ft. one-story-brick building characterized by large rounded, stone framed door openings and keystone arch windows with brick detailing the roof line. The second is the smith shop; a 10,000 sq. ft. building located behind the foundry. This existing building complex was known as the Maintenance-of-Way Shops (M of W Shops).

The A&GW became the New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio Railroad in 1880 and the Pittsburgh, Shenango & Lake Erie Railroad in 1891, which later became the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad (BLE). The property was owned by BLE until it was transferred to the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company in 1960. Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) acquired the property in 1976. Meadville Area Industrial Commission (now known as Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County) acquired the property from Conrail in 1983 and remains the owner.