ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks of Lehigh Valley
Video released on: January 17, 2014
Hello, and welcome to this addition of Lehigh Valley Visions, I’m your host George Wacker, and we’re here at the ArtsQuest Center in downtown Bethlehem Pennsylvania. I’m going to show you around this beautiful building and all that it has to offer, including music, movies, food, and a lot of fun, so let’s get to it! The Bethlehem Steel Corporation was founded in 1904 by Charles Schwab; it became the second largest steel company and the largest ship builder in the world. At its peak, it had 300,000 employees during WWII and ended almost 100 years in business in 2003. So, miconic structures built with Bethlehem Steel include the Chrysler building and the Holland Tunnel in New York City, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia.
In 2011 ArtsQuest, along with the city of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Re-development Authority, and several other public and private partners launched Steel Stacks, a dynamic arts and cultural campus that’s bringing life to the city’s former Bethlehem Steel plant. Once one of the largest brand fields in the United States, the site is now a popular destination for music, art, community events, indoor and outdoor concerts, festivals, and more. We’re at the Bethlehem Visitor’s Center at the stock house, built in 1863; this is the oldest building on site, fully restored and now houses information on Lehigh Valley events, attractions, restaurants, and more. Inside the visitor’s center, you can find documentaries on local history, historical displays, and interactive touch screens that can help you find local restaurants, events, attractions, and more.
The first floor of the ArtsQuest Center includes an area for you to see live music throughout the year at the TD Bank Community Stage. In the capitol Blue Cross Creativity counts. The Lee and Stella Yee connect zone provides a variety of programming; this includes local student artists on Sunday afternoons and free Ps and Qs series which is a family event every Saturday at 11 am. Be sure to stop by the stacked shop before you leave, it’s a place to shop for all things steel stacks and Bethlehem Steel related along with a variety of other gifts. Relax and refresh at the Mike and Ike bistro. You’ll find delicious lunch and dinner options, a wide variety of beverages -including full bar service- and awesome deserts including Breyer’s ice cream sundaes and shakes. The Frank Banko Cinema is a 2-screen cinema that features independent, foreign, scientific, and documentary films daily with stadium seating, 35 mm and digital production and surround sound, along with the ability to bring in food and your favorite beer.
The second floor of the ArtsQuest Center includes the Fowler Blast furnace room and the Loft, which includes the Books gallery. The Blast furnace room is also the home of a variety of family programs throughout the year, comedy, and is a great place to hose your event. The Alvin H Brooks gallery presents the works of talented artists throughout the region and around the nation. It’s also a great place to enjoy the view of the blast furnaces and artists performing on the TD Bank community stage below. The third floor of the ArtsQuest Center is a Musikfest cafe presented by Yuengling. There are 150 performances here per year and there’s no bad seat in the house. Some of the performances even have dinner served along with them. We’re going to check out a show right now. We hoped you enjoyed your tour of the ArtsQuest Center in downtown Bethlehem Pennsylvania, we’ll see you next time.