This article chronicles an on-going effort of local community and cultural groups to preserve and interpret the abandoned historic buildings of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Advocates for the site, with help from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH), are working with private developers to adapt and re-use the site. Outlining the complex process of persuading city of.cials and developers of the value of saving the plant and the interplay of local, state, regional, and national in.uences that shape the project, the author raises questions about the fragility of a public/private/nonpro.t alliance, suggests new strategies public historians might adopt for industrial sites, and comments on the danger that the expense of saving industrial sites poses to communities, even when history is a community priority. Documents and news coverage relating to the project can be read in full at www.march.rutgers.edu/bethsteel.htm.
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