Quiet Coliseum Abandoned Steel Mill Photo [221205-3]

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    This abandoned steel mill in Pennsylvania looks more like an old coliseum. Steel factories were some of the largest businesses in the United States before globalization reduced their numbers to less than 30 percent of their former glory.

    This is part of the abandoned Bethlehem Steel Mill in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The old steel factory still stands tall, welcoming thousands of visitors every year. Steel mills were some of the largest businesses in the United States before globalization reduced their numbers to less than 30 percent of their former glory. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation (1857–2003), based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. After a decline in the U.S. steel industry and management problems leading to the company’s 2001 bankruptcy, the company was dissolved and the remaining assets sold to International Steel Group in 2003. In 2005, ISG merged with Mittal Steel, ending U.S. ownership of the assets of Bethlehem Steel.

    Bethlehem Steel was also one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world and one of the most powerful symbols of American industrial manufacturing leadership. Bethlehem Steel’s demise is often cited as one of the most prominent examples of the U.S. economy’s shift away from industrial manufacturing, its inability to compete with cheap foreign labor, and its traits of business management that value short-term benefit over long-term strategy.

    The site of the company’s former main plant, in Bethlehem, PA, is now home to an arts and entertainment district called SteelStacks. The plant’s 5 blast furnaces have been left standing and serve as the back drop for this new campus. The site currently features a contemporary performing arts center, called the ArtsQuest Center, at the west end and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, to the east of the site. Other attractions include a free music pavilion called Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks.