One of the most fascinating buildings of the Industrial Revolution is the Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. At their peak, it was the world’s second largest steel producer and THE largest shipbuilder. Its decline is often viewed as one of the most visible examples of the U.S. economy shifting away from domestic manufacturing. That decline in the American steel industry, among other problems, eventually led to its bankruptcy in 2001.
Bethlehem Steel’s history dates to the 1850s. During these years, it produced rails for railroads and armor plating for the U.S. Navy. It had other military ties and during World Wars I and II as it was the major supplier for armor plate and ordnance to the U.S. Armed Forces. After World War II the plant produced structural elements for construction and products related to defense and power generation, and provided materials needed by other steel producers. The company suffered its first major blow in 1967 when it lost its bid to supply the steel for the World Trade Center. Within a decade it was clear that importing steel was considerably cheaper than producing domestically, and in 1982, Bethlehem Steel reported a loss of $1.5 billion. By the end of 1995, after nearly 140 years of continuous operation, the factory fell silent as steel-making at the Bethlehem plant ceased.
Today, the site of the original plant is part of SteelStacks, an arts and entertainment district.
For more photos of this amazing building please visit: Abandoned America’s Website