Friday, August 12, 2016

The Demolition Continues

Some people love to see demolition.  But to me, the demolition of a building in our neighborhood bring me sadness.  And, today extra sadness.  The last time I wrote about the demolition of this building, a woman who came from this area commented on my post.  Last night, I received word that she had passed away on Wednesday evening.  I will blog more about her this weekend.

This vacant building and I have become friends, in a way, over the years, ever since it was flooded in September of 2011 due to Tropical Storm Lee.  I pass it every day.

Since February, this building, one of the largest wood framed structures in the United States, has been undergoing demolition.
As of two days ago, this is what the remains of the building looks like.  Most of it is gone.

Soon enough, it will all be gone, along with a little dream I once had.

I'd like to share  a portion of an email I wrote to a friend in February of 2012 (yes, they were planning this demolition that long ago).  At one time, I felt this site may have been a good one for a regional farmers market.  But the market was built elsewhere, and opened earlier this summer.

Still, the thought of a farmers market in my neighborhood makes me wistful.  I think it could have been built in a way that would have been compatible with being in a flood zone.  It would have had good highway access and been right on a major bus line.  And, there would have been plenty of parking (unlike the site that was ultimately chosen).

The neighbor I blog about below?  Her house was foreclosed on.  She had to move.

Yes, that flood had so many repercussions.  We in my neighborhood still feel them today.

The email:

It breaks my heart that this solid 70 year old building has to be torn down.  My neighbor (actually she lives two blocks from me) feels much the same way. She has lived in my neighborhood all my life and told me the building was even hit by a tornado once.  Must have been before I moved there in (mid 1980's)

I was thinking - they have plans to build a regional farmers market at Otsiningo Park, a park which has been flooded to the point that it must be closed, at least 10-15 times (if not more) since the 1980's?  Where they will build it (near the former rest stop on I-81) has not flooded but what is the use if no one can get to it?  [note, another site was eventually chosen]

On the other hand, this beautiful brick building has loading docks, bays for trucks, and is right on a major bus line and is centrally located close to an exit off U.S. 17.  And yes, it would be blocked off in case of a flood warning but you know what, I think the portable flood wall across Main Street has gone up four times (including this last time) since 1987 and held up to the last time.  A slightly better record than Otsiningo Park.  

They can demolish the lower part of the building, the part that really got flooded bad in September (the back of the building) because they would need more parking than the site has now.

I'm close to blogging about it, not that it would change anything.  And who knows if it would even be possible, given that the Air Force owns the building.  And maybe it would just be cheaper to tear it down.  But then we'll have a big vacant hole there for the next trillion years.

It really is too bad.



  1. It's sad when life and people are displaced in the so-called name of development. The ugly name of capitalism. It tanks the heart. If the people's space are illegal, so are those of the big capitalists.

    1. Much about this overall situation is sad.

  2. Seems to be the world's longest demolition project.

    1. It was a huge building. But they condemned the building in November of 2011 and didn't start demolition until this past February. A long time coming.

  3. Indeed sad! A farmer's market in place would have been lovely. Wonder why authorities never consider the wishes of citizens during town-planning!

    1. Because...well, that's how New York State operates.

  4. When things go away, it's sad. Change is not always a pleasant thing. But maybe something even more amazing will end up there. Eventually.

  5. I like to see the past work into the future.
    Coffee is on


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