Bethlehem's Steelstacks Wins the Gold Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

Friday, September 15, 2017

The start-up city of Bethlehem, PA is being recognized as part of an elite group of major city redevelopment accomplishments after winning the Gold Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA). The 10-acre Bethlehem Steelstacks Arts and Culture Campus competed against 120 submissions from twenty-two states, while projects in big-time cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and New Orleans finished with Silver.

One of the most prestigious Planning awards in the country, the RBA provides an opportunity to celebrate and share the stories of creative and inspiring urban redevelopment projects based on innovative thinking and the contributions of social and economical impacts made to America’s cities. 

SteelStacks is the result of re-imagining the significant contributions to American-made Steel. Bethlehem Steel was the second-largest steel company in the US responsible for forging the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. However, it was forced to close its doors in 1995, because of global competition. 

USA Architects’ contributions to the campus were made through the restoration of the 1863 Stock House —the oldest remaining building on what is known as the nation’s largest brown-field site, into the Bethlehem Visitor Center. It exemplifies excellence in the field of historic preservation and serves as a cultural hub, creating a starting point for those eager to pursue historical stories and narratives about the City, the Lehigh Valley and the industrial and cultural heritage of this region. The Visitor Center has received multiple recognitions on its own, among them have been: Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award in the Construction Project Award for Industrial Properties, Cover story in Retrofit magazine, and Masonry Project of the Year by Masonry Construction.

“The overarching story behind SteelStacks is due to an unwavering vision, dedication and desire to honor the memory of Bethlehem Steel...the vision of community was what drove the design of this project..” said USA Architects CEO, Paul Swartz. 

The RBA marks the 32nd award granted to the campus.

For full press release, click here.