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From the Civil War to SteelStacks, South Bethlehem has been the cradle of Lehigh University for 150 years. Always historical, sometimes hysterical, these neighborhoods have housed ever-changing multi-ethnic communities and a constant influx of Lehigh students. Sights like St. Michael’s Cemetery, the Lehigh River, the architecture of A.W. Leh, and the ubiquitous blast furnaces have been a magnet for photographers. Beginning with William Rau’s Lehigh Valley Rail Road photographs, through Walker Evans’ iconic Depression Era images, generations of photographers have made the pilgrimage to South Bethlehem in search of clues to America’s industrial and post-industrial identity. Works by contemporary and historical photographers, some famous, some anonymous, contribute to the visual history of the borough.
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