Will ‘Steel Furnace' Letter Craze Really Spawn a Massive Party in a Vacant Philadelphia Lot?

The "Steel Furnace" party, is looking more and more like a thing that's actually going to occur at noon on Saturday, April 27, in an overgrown, vacant lot at 27th Street and Girard Avenue. Could 1,000s attend? And who is the original letter's author?

What to Know

  • A strange letter referring to a "steel furnace" event in Philadelphia has taken the Internet by storm and sparked countless memes.
  • Copies of the letter appeared on doorsteps in Philadelphia's Brewerytown and Fairmount neighborhoods in February.
  • Thousands have said they will attend a gathering at noon, this Saturday, April 27, in a vacant lot at 27th Street and Girard Avenue.

More than 2,100 people say they're going, if you believe the Facebook group dedicated to it.

An East Falls financial manager has bought cloaks for a group of college friends returning to Philadelphia for the occasion, and he created a website about the event.

A local news website asked the Philadelphia Parking Authority if there will be any special on-street parking to accommodate those gathering with the hope "to become a solid statue." (Answer: No. Regular Saturday parking.)

People, get ready: It's almost time for the "Steel Furnace" party in the Fairmount neighborhood.

One of the oddest events in recent Philadelphia history is looking more and more like a thing that's actually going to occur at noon on Saturday, April 27, in an overgrown, vacant lot at 27th Street and Girard Avenue.

Unfortunately, the writer behind the bizarre, memorable letter that spawned the entire craze remains a mystery. Still, people are taking his or her directive to heart: "Do attend," the writer implored in a leaflet stuck in doors of Fairmount and Brewerytown in February.

And attend, apparently, people will.

The craze of the "Steel Furnace" party began in mid-February.

Photos of the letter were repeatedly posted by several Reddit users who claimed an unidentified person was leaving copies of it in mailboxes and passing it around to residents.

WTF? Found this in my door this morning. from r/philadelphia

“This is to inform you that all the food ate since first grade is alive in your body, especially the dead animal remains or meat since it was cooked alive and is alive in your body,” the letter reads. “Anywhere it goes now, you must go with it. That’s 365 days a year from first grade to now.”

The letter features more incoherent rambling, warning the reader that the only way to “save yourself from the every which a way of being burned alive” is to “become a solid steel statue by place yourself under anesthesia.”

The letter then refers to a “steel furnace” where “metal can be melted and the bodies of people and animals mixed with the metal to become steel unable to be hurt.”

It ends by stating that a meeting on the “building of a steel furnace” will take place at noon on April 27, 2019, in a vacant lot on 27th Street and Girard Avenue.

“What we need is a bulldozer to dig some ditches and steel furnace equipment,” the letter states. “Do attend.”

Joel Todd, the East Falls man behind the website dedicated to the Steel Furnace, said friends from his college days at Drexel University are coming from all over the country for the party.

He said he doesn't know who wrote the letter, but he's excited about what's come from it.

"I used to have a big social life, but I just had a kid," Todd said. "I'm looking for things to keep me busy, but still jealous of my single friends. I saw on Reddit all the memes and jokes, and I knew I had to do something."

The letter definitely sparked an endless supply of memes, a subreddit, a Facebook event and even its own location on Google Maps.

“You want Furnace Furnace?” from r/philadelphia
Do attend. from r/philadelphia
The Birth of Gritty from r/philadelphia
I love you, I mean..... from r/philadelphia
How much meat?? from r/philadelphia
I just walked by the lot. It looks like they got started a little early. from r/philadelphia
I am very lost and confused from r/philadelphia
Couldn't get yellow text on mobile photoshop from r/philadelphia
The elevator listing for the marketplace in the Comcast tower is excited about April 27th. Do attend. from r/philadelphia
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