On July 29, the BMI will host Remembering Sparrows Point, a public program exploring one of the icons of Baltimore's industrial history, the Bethlehem Steel Mill at Sparrows Point. Through stories and modeling--both physical and computer-generated--visitors will hear intimate recollections of Sparrows Point from labor historian Bill Barry and two former employees from the plant.
Sparrows Point was once the world's largest steel-producing plant, building parts for hundreds of WWII ships, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Due to high owner turnover rates and bankruptcy during the early 21st century, Sparrows Point--also known as "The Point"-- was forced to close in 2012 after 125 years of steelmaking.
For years prior to the closure, Barry taught Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Labor Studies courses at the Sparrows Point Career Development Center. During that time, the relationships he built with the steelworkers, and the labor stories he heard, inspired him to spearhead a labor of love project about the history of Sparrows Point, which examines various social issues within the union--such as civil rights, women in the mill, community and eventually deindustrialization.
During the Remembering Sparrows Point event, Bill Wolf and Andrew Morton, two Sparrows Point retirees, will showcase their own projects inspired by Sparrows Point--including Wolf's physical models and Morton's computer-generated simulations of the mills.
"I was inspired to create this event at the BMI because I met two men with extraordinarily unique projects for telling the history of The Point--their ways of remembering the mills are unique," says Barry. "People who attend this program will see things they have never seen before and the program will be especially powerful for anyone who worked in the steel industry.
Be sure to join us for Remembering Sparrows Point on Sunday, July 29 from 1:30 PM - 3PM to learn more about this industrial symbol from Baltimore's past! The program will be included with museum admission.