LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Preliminary work started Friday on the demolition of the former Bethlehem Steel Administration Building. Utility crews were on scene making cuts.
Protestors and folks passing by were also present, expressing their displeasure that the building was being torn down and not preserved.
"It wouldn't look like that if it is what they said in the papers, no. To give up this is a shame. It's just a shame. I'm sure they could turn this into something very nice," said Jim Germain, who is currently working construction on the Lafayette Hotel.
"What we see in a lot of these buildings is the owners let them get this way on purpose. It's demolition by neglect and then they can call in an emergency order instead of being brought up to code. If I did this to my house they would fine me and I would have to fix everything," said Mark Paradowski, who was protesting.
Steve Bremer, the Lackawanna Code Enforcement Officer, told News 4 that Monday they will prepare the building to keep asbestos from becoming airborne and then Tuesday is the scheduled day to start the demolition.
"If we could save it, we would. But the building is in such horrible condition that it is just going to continue to collapse. It has been like this for 30 years. At last estimate we were looking at $5 million to $6 million to rehab it and now it is beyond that point," he noted.
Here are some responses we received from Facebook:
Mark said, "I hate to see a historic building like that go down. Unfortunately it's been neglected for 30+ years and probably beyond saving. Too little too late. Hopefully they will save some of the architectural details. If there were any chance of saving the whole building I'd be all for it.
Dan said, "Time for progress in this area, if they are abandoned and neglected it's time to say goodbye."
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