Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - The Dream I Wish Hadn't Come True

Regular readers of my blog have read, from time to time, about my neighborhood in upstate New York, damaged by a massive flood in September of 2011.

This building, actually a combination of several buildings comprising about 600,000 square feet, was built in 1942.  It has a fascinating history.  At one time it was one of the largest, if not the largest, wood framed building in the United States.  It still is the largest wood framed structure east of the Mississippi River.  It's several blocks from where I live.

It has been owned all these years by the United States Air Force and was most recently occupied by BAE Systems, giving good paying jobs to around 1,200 people in our community.

Since September 8-9, 2011 it has been vacant due to severe flood damage.  It eventually is supposed to be demolished.

I've dreamed for a long time for this day, the day the parking lot of this building was again full, the day the sidewalks in front of it were clean instead of covered in three years worth of gravel from snowplowing, and the grounds were not filthy with garbage.

But not like this.  No, not like this.

Yesterday was a local policeman's funeral.  The previous Monday, officer David Smith of the Johnson City, New York police force was killed in the line of duty responding to a call of a distressed employee making bomb threats at a local imaging business.  His funeral service was not that far from the BAE building, and its parking lot was used as parking for the hundreds of officers and others who attended.

Before the funeral, the county cleaned the property up.

I would rather have David Smith alive and the BAE property the way it was. But sometimes life works in strange ways.

I hope, next week, I can get back to happier blogging.


  1. There is truth in the saying that you have to be careful what you wish for because you might jusy get it. But now that it's cleared could you start a farmer's market there or form a grouo to get tje building put to use for the community? I bet you're not the only person that feels that way about it.

  2. Oh, that is a sad day for the community, and for you, my friend. I'm sorry.

  3. aw, I am sorry about the circumstances regarding the funeral, as well as the poor condition of this piece of history. Maybe there will be something good come of this. Perhaps somebody will now notice how amazing this building and it's land is now that it is all cleaned up. Perhaps through this tragedy, a gift will present itself.
    I hope to read a happier post about this soon!

  4. I very sorry as well to hear this. I come from NYC and losing a landmark building in the community is hard. I know how you feel. I do.

  5. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Yes, be careful what you wish for. The universe sure has a funny way of working, doesn't it? Peace to you.

  6. You say BAE systems- we have one locally to me, for ship building. Is it the same thing?
    I was sorry to hear about this, Alana.


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