SOURCE: Anderson Geneva Development

Anderson Geneva Development

November 11, 2010 12:07 ET

A Veterans Day Look Back at Geneva -- From World War II to Today

Geneva Legacy Turns From Wartime Contributor to Global Steel Producer to Place for Families and Businesses to Settle, Grow and Prosper

VINEYARD, UT--(Marketwire - November 11, 2010) - In November 1941, as Utahns were celebrating Armistice Day (now called Veterans Day), a major construction project was about to break ground in Utah Valley.

At that time, Geneva Steel was simply a collection of drawings on paper, having just received President Franklin D. Roosevelt's approval for construction. However, the events at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, pushed the United States into war and sent Geneva building plans into high gear as the steel mill almost immediately began to take shape on the shores of Utah Lake. The $200 million plant was the largest wartime construction project financed by the U.S. government.

The steel mill was built in Utah Valley because raw materials such as iron ore, coal, limestone and water were nearby and plentiful. In addition, the plant was located far inland away from major population and industrial centers to protect it from possible enemy attack on the Pacific coast.

By March 1944, the first steel plate was rolled at Geneva and shipped to the West Coast to be used in the construction of "Liberty" ships. Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the United States during World War II to carry troops and supplies around the world, receiving their nickname after Roosevelt declared they would bring liberty to Europe. More than 2,700 Liberty ships were built during the war. Geneva also manufactured shell steel billets, rectangular pieces of steel cut to shell casing size that were finished at other factories.

"Geneva represents a valuable piece of our country's history," said Utah County Commissioner Steve White. "The thousands of Utahns who built and ran the steel mill provided service to their country and support for the military that helped win the war. Utahns today can be proud of their success and the example they set."

Following the war, the Geneva mill was sold to U.S. Steel and continued to produce steel for decades, providing thousands of jobs and attracting many related businesses to the area. After years of prosperity, global market changes eventually took their toll on the plant's profitability, and Geneva Steel permanently shut down its steel-making operations in 2002.

Today, the future is bright for the land Geneva occupied for more than 60 years on the eastern edge of Utah Lake. A 1,700-acre mixed-use development with space for residential, retail, office and industrial tenants is filling out, and Utah Valley University will be the first major tenant with its purchase of 100 acres on the south end of Geneva for campus expansion.

According to Gerald Anderson, president of Anderson Geneva Development, much of the Geneva land has already been reclaimed and is ready for development of all types, including parks, schools, single-family homes, multiple-family residential complexes, stores, restaurants and offices. The development is also planned to feature a UTA FrontRunner and TRAX transit hub.

"Geneva's record as a key wartime contributor made for a smooth transition to its role as a stalwart producer of materials that helped build this country over much of the last century," Commissioner White said. "The Geneva legacy will continue as it becomes a place for families and businesses to settle, grow and prosper."

For more information about Geneva, visit

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