by Michael R. Allen
This engraving of the National Enameling and Stamping Company plant appeared in the company’s 1903 catalog.
In 1895, the St. Louis Stamping Company opened its new 550,000 square-foot plant in Granite City. The facility was designed by architect Frederick Bonsack. In 1899, the company’s name changed to the National Enameling and Stamping Company (NESCO). Production continued at the plant until 1956, and subsequently the buildings were used for storage.
On October 27, 2003, the plant mostly burned to the ground in a spectacular blaze. Among the items stored inside were thousands of tires and propane fuel. The buildings had creosote-treated wood block floors that were gentle on workers’ feet but highly combustible.
A detailed version of the story of the founding of Granite City and NESCO can be found here. Here are two views of the remains of the NESCO plant. The five-story building is the end part of the western wing of the building, seen at the right of the engraving above.