Though both The Express Times and Morning Call have beat me to the punch on this one, I still want to note that SteelStacks Arts and Cultural Campus in Bethlehem is the recipient of this year's Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence. That award means more than some plaque. It carries with it a $50,000 cash award to enhance the project.
Steel Stacks, as we in the Lehigh Valley all know, has replaced a rusting steel mill with a public plaza that includes Levitt Pavilion outdoor amphitheater, Bethlehem Visitor Center, ArtsQuest Center, PBS39 public broadcasting center, and Hoover-Mason Trestle Park. Nearly every day of the year, there's something to do there. If Bethlehem is the jewel of the Lehigh Valley, and I think it is, Steel Stacks is the jewel of Bethlehem. It represents everything that is right about urban living, something that even a hick like me can understand and appreciate.
Without visionary leaders like Jeff Parks, Mayors Don Cunningham and John Callahan, this never would have happened. But all three of them would tell you that it is another pioneer who turned their dream into reality.
|Tony Hanna and his wife of 44 years.|