Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




William H. Fisher

Committee Members

Amy Kracker Selzer

Stuart Hamilton

Martin D. Gallivan


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was founded as a Moravian settlement in 1742 and became an epicenter of steel production in the 20th century. Drawing on ethnographic research as well as secondary sources, I examine the zoning of the city and theorize on how this planning practice interacts with the culture of the city. I separate the paper into "Pre-Production," "Production," and "Post-Production", corresponding to the time periods before, during and after the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's existence. During "Pre-Production", spaces began to be imbued with meaning that would evolve into its current form and during "Production" the Bethlehem Steel company oversaw a peak production period in the definition of the city's geography. Since Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt in 2003, the city has entered "Post-Production" and the city's way of life has begun to be questioned. Bethlehem continues to grapple with defining its identity while manifesting the answers it wrests within the geography and codifying them within the zoning ordinance. The city appears to cling to a Bethlehem metanarrative " one of industry and the importance it brought to this tiny metropolis. Zoning offers a way to contest, support, mediate, and document this metanarrative.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only