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Monday, April 15, 2013

The End

There was an interesting story in yesterday's Allentown Morning Call, concerning the fate of the building you see above-- the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel.  I took this photo in July of last year.  At 21 stories and 330 feet, it's the tallest building in the Lehigh Valley.

Martin Tower has been vacant for years, and there is no one interested in developing it.  It would cost too much, and there's no demand for the space.  The building has been removed from Bethlehem's "anti demolition" list.  It now appears the land is worth far more than the building.

It's sad.

Martin Tower was constructed when America made things.  Now, we don't.

The building is huge.  Preserving it, and reusing it would cost a fortune.

The building is in private hands.  It's clear the end is near.

Our track record at preservation is rather weak.

I recently drove past the old federal building in Lewisburg.  It's been rehabilitated by Bucknell University.

Newswatch 16 did a story on Friday on an old Catholic school in Wilkes-Barre Township that's been turned into a brewery.

I watched an old convent in Avoca be demolished for a parking lot one week ago.

Wilkes-Barre let the Hotel Sterling rot, and it has to come down.

The Chamber of Commerce controls the Irem Temple in Wilkes-Barre, and it's in a state of disrepair.

The old train station on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard deteriorates by the day.  Scrappers and vandals have torn the building apart.

We've had successes.  We've had more failures.

Success takes money and something you can't buy-- vision.  Both are in short supply.