Photo credit Glenn Koehler/NMIH
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), in coordination with the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority and the Steelworkers Veterans Memorial Committee, has relocated the Steelworkers Veterans Memorial, previously located at Third and Polk Streets, to a newly developed area of the museum’s plaza. The relocation was financed by the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority through a $25,000 Local Shared Account grant from Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority and a $34,000 grant from the Bethlehem Parking Authority. The Parking Authority made the funding available to relocate the Memorial from its present location which will be the future site of the new Polk Street Parking Garage.
The memorial, which was originally dedicated in May 1989 by then-Bethlehem Steel CEO Walt Williams, began as an idea from a veterans committee within the company. What was supposed to be a small plaque became a more substantial undertaking under the vision of the late Raymond F. Rosati, Jr., a Bethlehem Steel millwright from Hellertown. Mr. Rosati, a U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran, designed the memorial which was built with the aid of plant personnel and machine shops, and constructed in the shipping yard maintenance shop. With plaques added in later years through grants procured by the late Rep. William C. Rybak, the monument serves as a testament to the workers and veterans of the nation’s steel mills.
“We’ve been delighted to coordinate with the Redevelopment Authority and the memorial committee to continue honoring the veteran steelworkers of our country,” said Kara Mohsinger, President and CEO of NMIH. “Preserving our history, honoring the heroes who fought for the United States, and keeping the legacy of steelworkers alive for future generations is integral to our mission and we look forward to continuing that tradition.”
The memorial is part of a larger outdoor expansion for the museum. The 17,000 sq. ft., $275,000 project will feature significant artifacts from Bethlehem Steel and the mining industry, telling the story of how raw materials are converted into finished steel products. The project broke ground last month and is expected to be completed next month.
A Smithsonian Institution-affiliate, the National Museum of Industrial History is dedicated to preserving America’s rich industrial heritage. Housed in an 18,000-square-foot, 100-year-old former Bethlehem Steel facility on the largest private brownfield in America, the Museum is home to exciting exhibits, engaging programs and amazing history. Learn more at nmih.org.
Information provided to TVL by:
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
National Museum of Industrial History