The Bethlehem Steel Administration Building may be headed to the landfill officially as news sources report demolition was slated to begin yesterday. Owners have been reluctant to see the building reused, even after conversations that detailed multiple approaches to save the building in a profitable way.
Don't forget, this piece of our heritage didn't get this way overnight. The owners neglected this building for the better part of three decades since they have owned it. The building hasn't made any friends with Mayor Szymanski either, as he has been a proponent of its demise from the start.
In previous news reports Szymanski said, "Pittsburgh adjusted, Cleveland adjusted. Buffalo has not and if we don't start making moves and start getting rid of stuff that is unusable, than we are going to continue to stay where we're at, which is nowhere."
He must not have been aware of Bethlehem, PA "getting over it" as they reinvented their shuttered steel mills and created an incredibly successful tourist attraction that is the pride of the city. I have to assume he has never left Lackawanna to come to nearby Buffalo and see how we have leveraged our historic assets like the Hotel Lafayette, Larkin District, and so many more.
The degree of shortsightedness in Lackawanna is startling and considering what has been accomplished in Bethlehem, PA with their steel mills, serves as a great example of what could have been and still could be if the right path is taken.
Join those who have been fighting to save this architectural gem, which is National Register eligible. People will be on site today starting at noon with protest signs in hand in an attempt to make a final push to make the owners and the Mayor see past the deterioration and realize the irreplaceable building they have. There will be a fire to keep warm and to roast marshmallows and media will be present. Dana Saylor, one of the most vocal and active supporters of reuse, has said, "This is a protest/rally, not a funeral. We are fighting this one though until the end."