Sterling Steel Foundry

The Center deliberately chose to locate itself in a historic manufacturing facility. The National Building Arts Center occupies the former Sterling Steel Casting Company foundry in Sauget, Illinois (just outside of the industrial giant East St. Louis), where the collections will be interpreted alongside the history of a foundry once part of a belt of St. Louis-area foundries once known as the “Pittsburgh of the West”. Opened in 1922 and closed in 2001, the foundry covers 15 acres and includes 13 historic casting, pattern storage, and office buildings. Since occupying the Sterling Steel foundry in 2005, the Center has initiated a rehabilitation effort that has preserved the historic character of the buildings so that their past use is emphasized. There are few other industrial preservation projects like this one in North America.

Above: Painting of the Sterling Steel Casting Company foundry as it appeared in 1972. This is the home of the National Building Arts Center.

Directions to Foundry Map


National Building Arts Center
2300 Falling Springs Road, Sauget, IL 62206

From St. Louis

  • Take I-64/US-40 eastbound through downtown St. Louis.
  • Be in the right hand lane when crossing the Poplar Street Bridge to Illinois. Keep merging to the right.
  • Immediately after crossing into Illinois, take the right exit for Illinois Route 3 southbound towards Cahokia.
  • Travel 1.1 miles, then turn left onto Monsanto Avenue.
  • Travel 0.8 miles, and then turn right onto Falling Springs Road.
  • Travel 0.5 miles, and then arrive at 2300 Falling Springs Road on the left (St. Louis Steel Casting on façade).

Return to St. Louis

  • Turn right onto Falling Springs Road from the parking lot.
  • Travel 0.5 miles, then turn left onto Monsanto Avenue.
  • Travel 0.8 miles, and then turn right onto Illinois Route 3 North.
  • Travel approximately 1 mile, getting into the left-hand lane. Then follow signs for Saint Louis (westbound I-64/I-70/southbound I-55), entering left exit ramp to Poplar Street Bridge.
  • If traveling west on I-64/US-40, quickly merge to the left lanes.