Owen and Oliver are shown playing in a park in front of the Bethlehem Steel Blast Furnaces. We are visiting the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania for the holidays. The Lehigh Valley is located about an hour’s drive from New York City and Philadelphia in south eastern Pennsylvania. The valley consists of three cities, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton which are considered one urban area. The population of the three cities is around 800,000 people.
A couple of days ago we visited the SteelStacks, which is a 10-acre campus dedicated to the fine arts, education and entertainment. It was developed on the land formerly occupied by the Bethlehem Steel Company. For centuries, the company, as well as others in the state, were the industrial backbone of the USA. In 1999, the company finally closed and the city of Bethlehem rallied together to develop the site into an amazing community cultural and entertainment center. Only in America could 70 million dollars be raised to turn what could have been an eyesore, into a thing of beauty and fun.
We are going back today to visit the Christmas Market and listen to some live music. There also are some art galleries and education centers run by the non-profit, ArtsQuest.
The entire area has really impressed me! They have taken many of the old factories and mills and turned them into fine arts centers, restaurants, night clubs, etc. One of the steel company’s former site is now a baseball stadium, home to the Triple AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
I’ll be blogging more about the area and our travels this holiday.