The largest foundry in the Midwest, Eagle Ironworks, provided the ironwork for the construction of the asylum. The mandala shaped grates in the windows of patient rooms as well as details of the asylum’s interior and exterior spaces originated at Mr. Miles Greenwood’s foundry on the banks of the Miami and Erie Canal in Cincinnati.
By the time the asylum trustees contracted with Mr. Greenwood in 1868 for wrought iron at 7-12 cents per pound, he was already well known for developing and manufacturing the first practical steam fire engine in history. Greenwood was known for doing things no one else could do: his company manufactured one dozen iron anchors for pontoon bridges in just 24 hours at the request of General John C. Fremont early in the Civil War. He built turrets for ironclad ships when no other foundry would attempt them, and he developed machinery that could manufacture three thousand muskets in just one day. For more information about Eagle Ironworks see http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=2606
Pictured here is iron fencing now in storage at the asylum. Photograph by Doug McCabe.