Wendell August Declared “Official Ornament Sponsor” of Pittsburgh

May 9th 2017

  [caption id="attachment_1286" align="alignleft" width="144"] WAF CEO Christian Werner and Pittsburgh Major William Peduto[/caption] Wendell August Forge and the city of Pittsburgh has had a long and storied relationship. Projects with Alcoa, the Kaufmann family and the Pittsburgh Penguins have each drastically influenced the path that Wendell August would take. On May 9, 2017, Pittsburgh and Wendell August took their relationship to the next step and made it official! Mayor William Peduto declared WAF the "Official Ornament Sponsor" of Pittsburgh. [caption id="attachment_1289" align="alignright" width="122"] Fallingwater[/caption] Pittsburgh and Wendell August first connected in 1930 when Pittsburgh's Alcoa commissioned Wendell August Forge to create gates for their Aluminum Research Laboratory. The partnership led to decorative trays and ultimately connecting with Pittsburgh department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann, who had commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design his home, Fallingwater, which today is considered the most prolific piece of American architecture in the country. Kaufmann had Wendell August Forge make a tray with the motif of Fallingwater. Alcoa and Kaufmann's projects led WAF towards the giftware industry, which today is the focus of our business. Wendell August Forge would continue to make pieces for Pittsburgh businesses in the decades to follow. However, it would be a Pittsburgh relationship in 2010 that would not only inspire Wendell August, it single handedly saved it. In 2010, Wendell August suffered a catastrophic fire at it's factory, gift shop and headquarters in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Within minutes, a building that was on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, laid in ruins. However, just days before Wendell August Forge had signed deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins to create handcrafted tickets for the last game at the iconic Civic Arena. The Penguins would upfront their payment for project, allowing WAF to set-up shop in an empty nearby factory. The Grove City and Pittsburgh communities embraced the company, giving it a new life. On the verge of closure, the Wendell August came back, rebuilt, and survived. When it came time to demolish the Civic Arena, the Pittsburgh Penguins chose Wendell August Forge to take the iconic dome roof and turn it into everything from Christmas ornaments to wine stoppers. Each and every fan of Pittsburgh and the Penguins would then have the chance to own a piece of a building that meant so much to so many. [caption id="attachment_1287" align="alignright" width="130"] Custom WAF ornaments on the City-County Christmas Tree in Pittsburgh[/caption] In 2016, the city of Pittsburgh would then commission Wendell August Forge to create ornaments for both the city's bicentennial and for the City-County building's massive 53-foot Christmas tree. When seeing the company's history,  it may come to no surprise that Wendell August would be named the Official Ornament Sponsor of Pittsburgh. From the company's first days to today, Pittsburgh and Wendell August Forge have been best of friends, and we could not be more honored to finally make it official.