Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Industrial Ruins: Bethlehem PA Blast Furnace

Just got back from a trip to Pennsylvania and Virginia.  One of the sites I specifically wanted to see was the remains of Bethlehem Steel, which, when it closed down, nearly destroyed the town.  Many years ago, on a trip to Ohio, I passed them on the street -- enormous, rusted and awesome - I couldn't stop that day but vowed to go back and photograph them.  Ten or so years later, finally did so.  They are now part of an industrial museum and they are surrounded by chain link fences, natch, but you can still get a good look at them.

By far, the most impressive structure is an old blast furnace, which was used up until the 1950s.  It towers over the buildings and powerfully dominates the scene.  
A photo gives no indication of size.  It is, I don't know, 8 or 10 stories high and stretches for a long city block or two.
The details are beautiful.
It's definitely worth a trip.  Also in Bethlehem is a well-preserved Moravian district --  they first settled the town and gave it its name.

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