Martin Tower

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Martin Tower
Former names Bethlehem Steel Martin Tower
General information
Status Vacant
Type Commercial offices
Architectural style International
Location 1170 8th Avenue
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°37′54″N 75°23′40″W / 40.6317°N 75.3944°W / 40.6317; -75.3944Coordinates: 40°37′54″N 75°23′40″W / 40.6317°N 75.3944°W / 40.6317; -75.3944
Construction started 1969
Completed 1972
Roof 101.19 m (332.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 21 above ground
Floor area 59,789 m2 (643,560 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Haines Lundberg Waehler
Martin Tower
NRHP Reference # 10000401
Added to NRHP June 28, 2010

Martin Tower is a 21-story, 101.2 m (332 ft) skyscraper at 1170 8th Avenue in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It is the tallest building in the city, and the greater Lehigh Valley, and 8 ft (2.4 m) taller than the PPL Building in Allentown.

Martin Tower was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 28, 2010.


Started in 1969, the building's bad luck reflected the declining strength of the Bethlehem Steel Company. The framework was completed in a short time, but there were insufficient funds to complete the elaborate building and the skeleton of Martin Tower dominated the western horizon of Bethlehem for 2 years before work was resumed. The building was completed in 1972.

In 1972, Martin Tower became the new headquarters for Bethlehem Steel. The building was constructed in the shape of a cross rather than a more conventional square in order to create more corner and window offices. The original offices were designed by decorators from New York[who?] and included wooden furniture, doorknobs with the company logo, and handwoven carpets. The building was a testament to the economic heights the Lehigh Valley reached in the 1970s before the large economic turndown caused by the decline of the steel industry.[citation needed]

The architect for Martin Tower was Haines Lundberg Waehler.


As of January 2013, the entire building is vacant. Surface parking around the building has been used as park-and-ride lots for local festivals. There have been plans to create condominiums or apartments inside the tower, along with recreational and retail space on the property, but the presence of asbestos and the cost of removal have put most of these plans to a halt.[citation needed] If Bethlehem gets a CRIZ, restoration of the Tower is likely. Asbestos would be removed and a sprinkler system would be added. [4]

It was announced on December 30th, 2013 that Bethlehem had won one of the two CRIZ designations. In year three of the CRIZ is when work on Martin Tower is expected to begin, and plans for the Tower to be completed by mid-2014. [5]

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