The Hoover-Mason Trestle, the newest attraction to the Bethlehem Steel site, opened to the public on Thursday, June 25, 2015. For anyone who might say, “been there, done that” about seeing the stacks–I must argue with you–because you’ve never seen them like this.
The original Hoover-Mason Trestle (HMT) was originally used to transport raw materials (such as iron ore and coke) to the blast furnaces. Today, however, the new HMT is now a pedestrian walkway that gives visitors incredible views of not only the stacks themselves, but even surrounding Bethlehem. “The [46 foot high, half-mile] walkway features benches, landscaping and a self-guided tour with plaques describing how steel was made and the significance of some of the large buildings still standing”(Radzievich). Standing on the trestle is so humbling and breathtaking. I’ve been there twice since the opening, and both times I noticed something surreal–complete strangers introduced themselves to one another and began sharing stories/memories of the stacks or asking questions. People wanted to know: Can you imagine how loud it must have been? Did the stacks glow? Were women working here? We all seemed to stand transfixed, expressing our amazement. There seemed to be a magnetism drawing everyone together up there.
Sunday-Wednesday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Three staircases and one elevator with ramps along the walkway
Special Tours: $15
Steelwalker tours along the HMT, led by former workers, will be held on July 11 & 18 and August 1 & 29 (11:00 a.m.)
These are the images I captured with my Nikon D3200. I must thank my friend and colleague, Mark, who encouraged me to shoot in manual for the first time. I still have a great deal of learning to do, but I was thrilled to learn more about this new hobby. Please check out some of his incredible HDR shots from the day (one of which won the #MyImpressionContest award from the Philadelphia Museum of Art!!).
I’m especially proud of these next few images since Mark taught me the term for this type of shot: bokeh (bow-ke),
a Japanese word meaning the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.
“I almost went down in fire. If it wouldn’t have been for my buddy standing right in back of me, he caught me. Otherwise I would have bought it, sure thing.” -Frank Furry (a coke and ore dumper)