Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Steel Stacks

Architecture, peeling paint, rust, abandoned buildings and industrial sites fascinate me as a photographer and one of the best places to photograph these elements is the old Bethlehem Steel Corporation; now referred to as the Steel Stacks.

Starting in 1995, Bethlehem Steel began preparing the site for adaptive use by performing environmental remediation and removing structures not of significance for preservation purposes. The site was rezoned, which allowed for the type of redeveloping currently underway. The remaining unrestored buildings and blast furnaces were saved to honor the community's industrial heritage and to preserve this site of national historic significance. (from the National Museum of Industrial History's pamphlet on Bethlehem Steel)


During World War II, 31,000 worked at the Plant, which was 4 1/2 miles long and consisted of 1800 acres. There were seven blast furnaces, five foundries for iron, steel, brass castings and ingot molds. There were 160 miles of railroad track and 400 fully loaded railroad cars of raw materials were received each day.
It's impossible to imagine the size and magnitude of the Plant but when you're actually standing there looking up at the furnaces you realize what an amazing work of human ingenuity it took to build.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

This is art, indeed!!! I don't think I have ever been on the grounds of a plant like this to check put the structure. Is this factory still operating? Very intricate & a good photo subject.