The History of Granite City Steel and STRONGBARN Panels

The History of Granite City Steel and STRONGBARN Panels

Barn tin ceiling tiles from CeilingConnex are some of the most unique and interesting products you can purchase for your home or office. Made from repurposed barn panels, these tiles give a unique character to any area.

But where did these tiles come from in the first place? In many cases, they were originally manufactured by an Illinois-based company called Granite City Steel.

About Granite City Steel

Granite City Steel has a rich history of innovation, aspiration, and efficiency. Although the company itself has gone through numerous changes and challenges, it consistently remains one of the top plants for steel panel production.

Granite City Steel was founded by Frederick and William Niedringhaus, German immigrants who came to America in search of greater opportunity. Around the 1860’s, Frederick and William started a tinware company in the St. Louis area. In the 1870’s, the brothers developed a system for creating decorative mottled surfaces on metal, which became known as “graniteware.”

During their rise to prominence, Frederick served as a Congressman, representing the state of Missouri from 1889 to 1891. After two years of service, he did not seek reelection and returned to the metal business, which turned out to be a successful decision.

The brothers began to grow their metal business and eventually moved right across the Mississippi River, to the nearby town of Granite City, Illinois. The would officially create Granite City Steel in 1895.

Throughout the industrial revolution, the town of Granite City, Illinois was a major producer of materials and became a booming industrial city alongside its larger neighbor, St. Louis. Granite City Steel played a part in the area’s growth, employing many people throughout the St. Louis region.

According to an article by the Preservation Research Office, Granite City Steel’s facilities had two 22-ton furnaces and four mills. Altogether, the plant was capable of producing 20,000 gross tons of finished product every year. At first, the plant only made metal sheets, but in 1905, the Granite City Steel facility expanded production, adding bar steel and tin plate to its output. By 1905, Granite City Steel employed 2,000 people and the facility covered 15 total acres.

The company was incorporated in 1927 and would eventually be purchased by U.S. Steel. The facility in Granite City is still in operation, with an annual capacity of 650,000 tons.


STRONGBARN is one of the trademarks for the Granite City Steel company, which is now owned by U.S. Steel. The trademark was filed in 1948, and it gave the company ownership of specific forms of corrugated steel sheet roofing and siding materials. The trademark expired in 1992. This material was used in the production of many different barns and now is used to create some of the barn tin ceiling tiles that are available for purchase through CeilingConnex.

Barn Tin Ceiling Tiles are Available Now!

If you are looking for top-quality ceiling products, you need to browse the full selection from CeilingConnex.

Whether you want rustic barn tin or classic white ceiling panels, you’ll find everything you need when you visit our site.

Back to blog