-

-

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Farewell

I know I should have written this entry sooner, but the election got in the way.

Martin Tower in Bethlehem was imploded Sunday morning.  What you see above is a screen grab from video shot by WNEP's Dan Turansky.  You saw the implosion live on Newswatch 16 Sunday Morning.

So many people were happy to see the building go, and I get that.  It had been empty for years.  No one was interested in redeveloping it.  New stores, offices and apartments will go up in its place.

Me?  I was horrified.

Martin Tower was a landmark.  It stood there majestically, coming in to view as you swung off Route 22 and on to Route 378.  More importantly, it stood for something.  It was a monument to the days when America made things.  In this case, it was steel.  At one time, Bethlehem Steel was the second largest steel producer in the United States.  Those days are long gone.

It is a little strange when you think about this.  The Bethlehem Steel mill, just a few miles away, has been redeveloped into a casino, shopping mall, concert venue and arts space.  The Lehigh Valley's public television station has a first class facility here.

We saved the rusting and rotting mill.  We couldn't save the headquarters.