Who would have thought, that in such a relatively short period of time, Bethlehem Steel would be becoming known as a natural regeneration site? Once a booming industrial steel factory, then a forlorn and decrepit scrapyard, and today an ambiguous property dotted with windmills and reclaimed patches of green… this green partnership between man and Mother Nature, a combination of remediation and alternative energy, has caught the attention of Mark Byrnes at The Atlantic Cities who has featured a series of images looking at the property from overhead.
For anyone who remembers the steel plant back in the day, you may recall the constant haze that loomed near Bethlehem Steel, along with the ever-present smell. When I was young I would pinch my nose every time we drove past the operation. As mammoth Bethlehem Steel was back in the day, I never imagined that there would time when I would see anything but the oppressive plant buildings, the miles of train cars and the giant smoke stacks. As if overnight, the gigantic collection of industrial images faded into a distant memory? It seemed an impossibility at the time, that any such thing would ever happen to company that was an industrial city unto itself. A new generation of Buffalonians will only hear of the stories and see a few pictures.
The new legacy of Bethlehem Steel is taking shape today. Of course the land has a long way to go if we are to see any sort of human inhabitation. In the meantime man and Mother Nature will continue to shape the context of the land that, from above, looks a might otherworldly and chock full of potential.