One of the vestiges of Beloit, Wisconsin's industrial roots is the Beloit Corporation steel-making plant, built along the banks of the Rock River in the heart of the city. Ultimately closing in 1999 after 140 years in operation, the old industrial complex stands not as a symbol of Beloit's decline, but rather its resilience. Renamed Ironworks, the property is now a vibrant, multi-tenant commercial campus. Where new walls have gone up and interior spaces transformed, Cor-Ten steel panels from McElroy Metal have become a familiar sight.
The former Beloit Corporation property was purchased in 2001 by ABC Supply Inc. co-founders Diane and the late Ken Hendricks, who then began redevelopment of the nearly-one-million-square-foot property. Upwards of 50 different businesses now occupy or plan to occupy space in the Ironworks development. To maintain the historic industrial appearance, Multi-Cor Cor-Ten AZP Raw corrugated panels from McElroy Metal have been installed on exterior walls and used in a variety of interior locations as design accents. As the renovation continues, more Cor-Ten AZP Raw will be installed.
“The whole feel of the campus is for the industrial look,” says Jim Tibbetts, AAIA, project manager at Angus-Young Associates Inc. of Janesville, WI. “During the first stages of renovation, there was still industry going on within the buildings. It was eventually phased out and it’s now dedicated to office space, retail and some restaurants.”
In addition to office space and restaurants, the Ironworks campus is home to a golf training center and several tech startups.
“We looked at several panels with Hendricks Development, but this one really captured the eye,” Tibbetts says. “It is a true rustic look. The corrugations are only 7/8 of an inch deep, so it doesn’t take a lot to back it up like a rainscreen would. Cost is also a consideration. It’s not over-the-top expensive.”
Corporate Contractors Inc. of Beloit has installed more than 9,000 square feet of Multi-Cor Cor-Ten AZP Raw, formed at the McElroy plant in McFarland, WI.
“The rusty industrial look is what they were after,” says Lindsey Hartwig, project coordinator at CCI. “The installation went just like it was supposed to on the exterior. It looks great.”
Hartwig says many of the businesses on campus have selected the Cor-Ten AZP Raw for interior design highlights too. The YMCA has it wrapped around the reception desk and as part of the donor wall.
The ongoing $30 million renovation at Ironworks includes new entrances, parking and road upgrades, as well as new windows, flooring, lighting, electrical and other amenities. The original manufacturing building, with 50-foot ceilings, still stands, but has been converted to a three-story building, creating more floor and loft space.