Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Long Goodbye Continues

Last night, I was amazed.  I was watching TV when this commercial came on.

It featured a building.  A very familiar building.  A building I've passed nearly every day these past 25 plus years that I've lived in Westover, near Johnson City, NY.

I've blogged about this building time and time again, since the floods of September 7-8, 2011.

Ruined by the flood, it stands vacant, patiently waiting for the demolition ball.  Snowball bushes bloom near the former entrance.  The day lilies were blooming not that long ago.

The once green lawn, meticulously cared for with a lawn care service, stands brown with wildflowers starting to bloom here and there. (I've been tempted to do a blog post on how nature slowly starts to come back into its own when man stops interfering.  Well, let me qualify that. The county has mowed the grass a couple of times since the flood.  But other than that, nature is starting to reclaim.)

Now, NY State has made a commercial about the former BAE building in Johnson City, NY.

The flood took 1300 jobs from our neighborhood, and several other employers who will never return. Those buildings lie vacant, too.

But the good news is, the state saved those jobs, at least for five years, and other vacant buildings once owned by IBM, a few miles away, are now buzzing with activity.

It's bittersweet.  And I still wish the building could be saved.  In my daydreams, the building (or at least, a replacement building after the BAE building is torn down) becomes a farmers market.  The location would be so ideal, near to highways and right in back of a bus stop on a major BC Transit line.

Or not.

The long goodbye continues.


  1. There is a rumor floating that if the Air Force tears down the old GE plant (at one time the largest wood building in the world) and whoever is responsible pulls down Goudy station (old coal power station, then an initiative could take place installing MW photovoltaic power and tie it into through the existing grid connection that Goudy station had.

    1. Thank you. I've done a little Internet research on the building a.k.a. Air Force Plant 59. The building is still "one of the largest wood structures in the United States". Several other times the building was slated for deactivation and got another life. As for the rumor about the power generation - I would love to hear more about that. I have no fond memories of Goudey Station, and that would be the ultimate irony.

  2. Less than a month after I moved out of an apartment building last August there was a fire in one of the units and the whole building had to be evacuated due to smoke and water damage. I felt incredibly lucky I had moved and didn't lose everything. I felt sorry for all the people who lost their low-rent housing. It is a heritage building, an inn from the 1850s that later served as a temporary courhouse and jail. For months the building stood fenced and locked up. It is across the street from the farmers' market, so I saw it every week.

    A couple weeks ago I noticed one ground-floor unit was open again. I saw a man walking his dog through a door, someone unfamiliar. I could never live there again. I can't imagine how anyone who was living there and lost their belongings in the fire could ever live there again. Still, I was relieved to see someone is.

    1. A sad story and I feel for you and the tenants that were there at the time. I love these old buildings and I am sorry for what the tenants had to go through. I am glad the building is slowly being restored. I hope all the apartments can be occupied again. There is a former jailhouse in Owego, NY (one of the villages seriously flooded here in upstate NY) that is closed now but they tried to have a restaurant, and I think apartments, there too.


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