LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The original Bethlehem Steel Administration building in Lackawanna is set for demolition in a matter of days. But not everyone wants to see it gone.
For 30 years it's been vacant. Built in 1902, Bethlehem Steel made the building its Administration Building starting in 1922. That alone makes it historic in the eyes of some preservationists.
Danielle Huber of Dedicated2Buffalo.com said, "The intricate detail, this history, the architecture...."
David Torke, author of FixBuffalo.Blogspot.com , added, "20,000 people worked here and there isn't much left that reminds us of what happened here. The building is iconic. It needs to be saved."
But it has to come down according to Lackawanna's Code Enforcement Officer, Steve Bremer, who signed the demolition order three weeks ago.
"The second and third floors are collapsed and part of the roof, and there's a main staircase in there collapsed. It is unsafe to come in and at some point the whole building is just going to implode," Bremer pointed out.
The building is owned by Gateway Trade Center, a shipping business which was hoping to use a state grant to offset some of the demolition costs. But the State Office of Historic Preservation is opposed to that, noting that the building might qualify for a listing on the National Register of Historic places.
City of Lackawanna officials are tired of trying to preserve it.
Bremer stated, "The city is demanding that Gateway continue as planned this Friday."
Huber responded, "This is fundamental to save. With the Outer Harbor expansion project, this is essentially the end of it, and I feel that as the progress keeps coming this way, this building will be needed and we will regret knocking it down."
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