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Museum hosts Martin Tower presentation

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    “Three Hundred and Thirty Two Feet,”
    a photo from the Martin Tower exhibit shows the view looking over the ledge of the building from the rooftop.

Published May 10. 2019 11:06AM

Several programs are highlighting the Martin Tower in Bethlehem prior to its implosion May 19.

• The National Museum of Industrial History, located at 602 E 2nd St, Bethlehem, is honoring nearly 50 years since the groundbreaking by offering up a series of rare looks at the construction and subsequent years of one of the most iconic buildings in the region.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the museum will host special guest speaker Gordon Baker for a lecture about the “Unique Birth of Martin Tower.”

A retired licensed professional engineer, Baker helped develop and implement a computerized system that produced the drawings needed to fabricate Martin Tower’s beams and columns, and later supervised the fabrication of the tower’s steel. This event included in regular museum admission and free to members.

• “A Final Look: Inside the Last Days of Martin Tower” is an intimate look into one of the Lehigh Valley’s most iconic structures. Spanning five years, the work showcased at Bethlehem’s Fox Optical Gallery chronicles the structure from an untouched, abandoned edifice, with flora and fauna sprouting around a building still pristine inside, to a final glimpse into the gutted tower and its surroundings prior to implosion.

The tower, the former headquarters for the once industrial giant Bethlehem Steel, opened in 1972 and slowly became vacant following its 2001 bankruptcy. This show offers a raw, but delicate window into the last vestige of the Lehigh Valley’s tallest building. The show will be on display through June 29 at the gallery, located at 28 E 3rd St, Bethlehem.

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