Bethlehem, U.S.A.

  • Bethlehem, a quiet town in eastern Pennsylvania, was once the headquarters of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, a 96-year-old company that provided steel for the nation, from the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge. In 1995, the Bethlehem plant ceased production and in 2001, the company declared bankruptcy. While parts of the large property remain fenced off and abandoned, new businesses are moving in, and the site has become a tourist destination. These eighteen color photographs examine the life and death of industrial America. Separated into two grids, the steelworkers in their personal spaces are juxtaposed with the images of their former workplace, the decaying steel property.

    Along with this series of photographs, I examined the life cycle of Bethlehem Steel from different generational points of view in a 30-minute documentary entitled Bethlehem, U.S.A.