U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt designated the CF&I Administrative Complex on January 13, 2021 as a National Historic Landmark for the role the company played in the development of the American West in steelmaking, coal and coke production, and industrial and labor relations in the early twentieth century. The CF&I Administrative Complex becomes the 26th National Historic Landmark in Colorado.
The Bessemer Historical Society was formed in the summer of 2000 to provide permanent care for the archival collection, artifacts and historic buildings of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I). A concerned group of citizens realized the danger of losing the Minnequa Works Office Complex, and the CF&I archival collections, to irreparable damage from neglect and lack of adequate preservation measures, or to the potential for the collections to be donated to a distant repository. In June, 2000, these community members, in collaboration with representatives from the City of Pueblo, the County of Pueblo, and the State of Colorado, created the Bessemer Historical Society (BHS), a 501(c)(3) organization, to preserve the buildings and documentary remains of CF&I.
In 2001, after raising $1.7 million, BHS purchased the historic administrative building complex and surrounding 5.7 acres of land from Oregon Steel Mills, the owners of the mill at that time. Oregon Steel officially donated the archival collection to BHS a year later. With tremendous support from the Southern Colorado community, and beyond, BHS has accomplished many goals. After the building complex was purchased and stabilized, it was listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, at the national level of significance. With an initial Save America's Treasures grant, in 2003, followed by three successive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, nearly 6000 cubic feet of paper records have been processed, most at a very basic level, and made available for public use. In addition, nearly 100,000 photographs, over 30,000 maps and drawings, 1,200 rolls of microfilm, thousands of financial ledgers, and 228 historic 16mm films have been preserved and made accessible at basic levels. The Steelworks Museum was opened in 2007 and serves as the interpretive center for CF&I history. The Steelworks Center of the West was established in 2014 to integrate all of our museum, archives and education programs.