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Bethlehem Steel Plant

Posted by
Denny Jump (Bellevue, WA, United States) on 4 February 2018 in Miscellaneous.

This is a "side" view (from the North) of The Old Bethlehem Steel Plant of Bethlehem, PA.

Bethlehem Steel (1857–2003) was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after the Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel company.
For many years, trains delivered raw material in and carried out the finished products. Once loaded with steel, the trains rolled to projects in all corners of North America and around the world. Now, those trains just roll by, pulling auto carrier cars, grain hoppers, tank cars, flat cars, and box cars.

A general decline in the U.S. steel industry, and management problems lead to a 2001 bankruptcy at Bethlehem Steel. It was dissolved with remaining assets being sold to ISG (International Steel Group) in 2003. Then, In 2005, ISG merged with Mittal Steel thereby ending any remaining U.S. ownership of the assets of Bethlehem Steel.

Bethlehem Steel was one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world and it was one of the most powerful symbols of American industrial strength for many years. The company was responsible for supplying the steel for numerous New York City and other city skyscrapers, as well as bridges (including the Golden Gate Bridge), dams, and countless other construction projects.

Bethlehem Steel's demise is often cited as one of the most prominent examples of the U.S. economy's shift away from industrial manufacturing, its inability to compete with cheap foreign labor, and practices of business management that valued short-term benefit over long-term strategy.

Now, the main plant that you see here, stands unused and quiet. The plant property to the south (just out of view to the right) is home to an arts and entertainment district called "SteelStacks." The plant's 5 blast furnaces, it is planned, shall remain standing. They serve as a rather unsettling backdrop for the new campus, which includes a contemporary performing arts center, called the "Arts Quest Center" and a "Sands Casino Resort" to the east of the site. The disturbing aspect, to me, is the fact that money is being gambled away in the casino, and spent on other forms of entertainment, while the lives and livlihoods of workers went by the wayside.

Environmental factors were, of course major, and there is no getting around the fact that pollution in the late 19th century, and 20th century right on into even the 1960's and 1970's, when environmental legislation finaly began to take hold. But for the lives and families of the general employees, it is hard not to feel badly about the loss of jobs for wage earners.

The steam you see beyond is coming from a plant that is still in operation and is, to the best of my knowledge, not associated with Bethlehem Steel,

OLYMPUS E-510 1/250 second F/4.2 ISO 100 108 mm

** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"

- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)

- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.

::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
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Martine Libouton from Bousval, Belgium

Impressionnante ta photo !

4 Feb 2018 11:07am

@Martine Libouton: Thank you so much, Martine ;-)

Existence Artistique from Angers, France

oh comme un jouet

4 Feb 2018 3:49pm

@Existence Artistique: Merci Beaucoup ;-)

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A beautiful relic of our industrial past. I marvel at these old plants and all the activity that went on in and around them.

4 Feb 2018 4:57pm

@Steve Rice: Indeed - This was an amazing plant.....probably 60% of the NYC Skyscrapers were built with steel from tis plant....Thank you so much, Steve....Sorry to be missing you...rather busy here at the kids (son, David and family) here in Vallejo ;-)

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

I have always wanted to visit there. A fabulous image. Great information.

4 Feb 2018 11:27pm

@Elaine Hancock: It's quite a tour, I am told...I missed it but heard lots of stories ;-) Thanks, Elaine!

Darkelf Photography from Perth, Australia

The intricate industrial detail is superb Dennis. This almost a "living" sculpture now. Interesting information about the plant's history as well.

5 Feb 2018 2:23am

@Darkelf Photography: Thank you so much, Maciek ;-)

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

A situation all too familiar to me, too . . consumption advances as production wanes and we all lose.

5 Feb 2018 8:58am

@Ronnie 2¢: Precisely, sir....and, sadly, we have a lunatic in charge.....I still can't believe it.....

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

I know it well. Congratulations on your SPOTLIGHT!

5 Feb 2018 6:30pm

@Ruthiebear: Yes , I am sure you did, my friend :-) Really amazing! Thanks so much for stopping by, Ruthibear ;-)

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Congratulations on the Color Spotlight!

5 Feb 2018 7:13pm

@Steve Rice: Thank you So much, Steve! A really nice surprise ;-)

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful composition, colors, lights, details & effect!
A M A Z I N G !
Congratulations! :)

5 Feb 2018 7:41pm

@omid: Thank you, Omid ;-)

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

Congratulations on the Spotlight Denny!

5 Feb 2018 9:04pm

@Elaine Hancock: Thank you so much, Elaine ;-)

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

. .and Congratulations on the Spotlight, too ! Well done.

6 Feb 2018 1:43pm

@Ronnie 2¢: Thank you, Ronnie!;-)

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Superb composition and very interesting ! Congratulations on your Spotlight !

6 Feb 2018 2:48pm

@Mhelene: Thank you so very much ;-)

Mireille T. from Ribérac, France

Strikingly beautiful! Congratulations!

6 Feb 2018 6:43pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

A great view which has a nice tilt-shift appeal to it!! Congratulations on the Spotlight as well!

6 Feb 2018 11:04pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

I'm late to the Spotlight party, but hearty congratulations for this super cool tilt-shift beauty. I like the informative write-up as well.

8 Feb 2018 4:00am

Becky from los angeles, United States

This is a great shot! Congratulations!!

10 Feb 2018 4:00am

Peter from Te Aroha, New Zealand

A sad but interesting story, there are similar ones all around the 'western' world.

10 Feb 2018 4:21am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Congratulations on the Color Spotlight.

12 Feb 2018 3:44pm

franz from Baden, Austria

I discovered this spotlight photo only now, due to my absence while skiing in the Dolomites. A powerful 'portrait' of an industrial ruin, only too common nowadays, and a great choice for the spot! Congratulations and respect!

16 Feb 2018 2:40pm

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, NYC, Canada

Congrats on the Spotlight, wonderful image !~

18 Feb 2018 7:00am

1/250 second
ISO 100
108 mm