Nearly a month has gone by since we crawled out of bed at the crack of dawn to secure our spots to bid farewell to Martin Tower. At 7:03 am on May 19th, the Lehigh Valley bid farewell to its tallest building. The former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel was imploded by Controlled Demolition, Inc. It was a textbook demolition, with the 21-story tower falling neatly within its own footprint.
A dusty Eighth Avenue re-opened a few hours after the implosion, and Lehigh Valley residents returned to gaze upon its remains. We made several trips to the site over the past few weeks to photograph the debris and say our farewells.
Street view of the debris pile soon after the Martin Tower implosion, morning of 19 May 2019.
A few conjoined panels of Martin Tower's exterior on top of the debris pile.
Martin Tower's debris pile viewed from across Eight Avenue on the day after its implosion. Many people were driving and walking by to have a look at it.
Martin Tower's debris pile remains untouched the day after its implosion.
The inside of a urethane-lined exterior panel sits atop the north side of the Martin Tower debris pile.
Close-up of the debris pile soon after the Martin Tower implosion, morning of 19 May 2019.
A closeup of Martin Tower's remains from the sidewalk along Eight Avenue. Near the fence is pieces of the urethane insulation that lined its walls.
Close-up of debris filling windows of the former Martin Tower subterranean parking garage.
In the weeks following the Martin Tower implosion, contractors knocked out most the exterior walls of the 2-level parking deck beneath the building
Pile of dislodged cinder blocks around the base of the demolished Martin Tower.
Martin Tower fell so neatly within its own footprint that it did not damage the annex connector or the base of the former Bethlehem Steel signage.
A traffic light road sign still points to Martin Tower in spite of the building having been demolished and the site being cleared for future development.
Life goes on, but getting used to the new landscape is taking some time. Although we watched it fall with our own eyes, there’s still so many times that we’re driving down the road and still expect it to appear in its familiar place as we round a bend or crest a hill. The gap it has left in the skyline looms far larger than the tower itself ever did. The gap that it has left in our hearts looms even larger.