Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Decades since Bethlehem Steel shut down, the site sees small bits of new life.
South of Buffalo sits the industrial suburb of Lackawanna. Its economic raison d'être? A massive Bethlehem Steel plant along Buffalo's Outer Harbor, which has been closed since 1983.
This area is not entirely dead. Vegetation has reclaimed much of the contaminated site, juxtaposing nature against industry. Commerce still exists there, too. Small logistics-related operations use portions of the property thanks to its rail infrastructure and road access.
The most recent and noticeable change, however, consists of 14 wind turbines. Each one stands at 410 feet, only slightly shorter than Buffalo's tallest office tower. The project was officially completed in February and stretches out to the bordering southern suburb of Hamburg.
Via Google Maps, we see all of these activities in play - a decaying industrial infrastructure, small clusters of economic activity, and a wind turbine project nearing its completion: