View Full Version : Bethlehem Steel works

Alan Barton
29-Apr-2006, 16:05
Is it still possible to shoot at the steel works in Bethlehem? I have seen plenty of great images around the web but none with any recent information. Other info on similiar locations in PA would also be welcome! Thanks

Walt Calahan
29-Apr-2006, 16:43
Bethlehem steel works is history the last time I drove by it looking from I-78. The land is becoming a huge shopping mail / casino complex.

Check out my buddy's, Stephen Wilkes, web site http://www.stephenwilkes.com/main.html (look under fine art) to see very fine images of the area before it was bulldozed.

Perhaps you should photograph what it is becoming instead redoing what others have already photographed.

Pittsburgh is a great place to photograph high tech solftware development.

Ron Marshall
29-Apr-2006, 19:39
This site has photos taken at many sites such as Bethlehem Steel:


Brian Ellis
30-Apr-2006, 00:36
Thanks for the link to Stephen Wilkes work, I went there expecting to click on a couple images and ended up spending over half an hour on the Bethlehem Steel and Ellis Island portfolios.

Walt Calahan
30-Apr-2006, 07:36
Ellis Island was shot all 8x10.

Bethlehem Steel was shot with a Diana/Holga and other formats. I'll have to ask Stephen the next time I talk to him.

He's a wonderful photographer who turned his talents into a very successful business.

brian steinberger
30-Apr-2006, 09:59
Walter.. are you saying that none of the works are in existance anymore?

Walt Calahan
30-Apr-2006, 10:27
No, just the last time I drove by on the highway, much was disappearing. That was a year ago, so you'll need to check with a local on the site's present state.

Frank Petronio
30-Apr-2006, 11:14
My friend Edgar Praus made official arrangements through the National Park Circus to get inside the plant with a guard a couple of years ago. He made some wonderful images. However, they limit your time and it is hard to scout for when to hit the right lighting, so it is a bit of a crapshoot.

I think the NPS has hired a photographer to document everything with archival large format, doing everything properly. Whether we'll ever see the images or they'll have any soul beyond the typical architectural documentation I don't know.

2-May-2006, 09:31
I live here.

Always wanted to get in, but never bothered to research it out. There's a couple of different portions of the Steel, and the most iconic part, the blast furnances, are still standing. Much of what around them is being torn down, however, and unfortunatly they ARE putting in a slots "casino" in the area, which will further drag the surrounding areas down even further.

The part you see from I78 is the coke works, and I don't think there's anything left there. If you get off at the Hellertown exit (rt 412?) and follow that North, you'll eventually drive by the blast furnances after a c0uple of miles. Be forwarned, the surrounding areas on that side of town aren't really very nice, nor are some of the inhabitants. Especially the further up the hill you go.