The Steel Yard was founded in 2001 by Nick Bauta and Clay Rockefeller who purchased the former Providence Steel and Iron (PSI) complex in the conviction that the industrial site had not yet outlived its purpose. In collaboration with fellow artists and community members, Bauta and Rockefeller built a non‐profit around the simple idea that by reconnecting people to how things are made and teaching them about process, endless possibilities open up.
The founders and the earliest members of this community imagined a place that would serve as a sponsor and catalyst for innovative approaches to urban revitalization, arts promotion, workforce development, and community growth. The facility and surrounding site now accommodates classes and projects in welding, blacksmithing, ceramics, jewelry, glass casting and the foundry arts.
— Festival of Historic Houses Guidebook, 2013