The Bureau Central was the main offices for a large family run metal company.
The de Wendel family has been involved in the industry since early in the 18th century. Quite soon they developed into the largest iron enterprise in Lorraine.
During the early 19th century an upgrade project to modernise the blast furnaces took place. The upgrading was extremely successful and they became the third largest iron enterprise in France. By 1870 they were the largest, producing 112,500 tonnes of iron and 134,500 tonnes of pig iron each year. To help keep up with this production they employed a workforce of 7000 strong.
Still expanding the company ventured into steelmaking and opened a steelworks in 1882.
The ever expanding company needed some grand offices to impress would be clients and highlight there success. In 1892 they built Bureau Central. A vast office complex of a grand design. In 1926 the building was expanded to cope with the increasing paper work needed.
After WWii it started to go downhill for the company. The mining industry was nationalised in and in the late 1970s the whole family empire was nationalised.
Over three centuries later the Wendel name is still going strong and it is now a successful investment company.
Abandoned in the 1980's after a merger of other companies, this grand building is now listed but falling into serious decay. Development to the surrounding area is taking place so hopefully this spreads and this beautiful building is restored to its former glory.