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Another Push Being Made to Save Bethlehem Steel Administration Building

The “I’m Steel Standing”
event last Sunday outside of the Bethlehem Steel North Administration Building,
drew nearly 100 local residents and former employees to the historic site. For
several months now, the push has been on to engage local residents in an
intense campaign of increasing support for the landmark’s adaptive reuse.
Online and paper petitions have been circulated (with over 500 signatures
gathered), a website has been built, which received over 2,000 visits in less
than a week, a short film was made, and a whirlwind of media attention has been
focused on the building, which is eligible for listing on the National Register
of Historic Places.

With Judge Kenneth Case set
to issue a decision on the stay of demolition in Erie County Court Tuesday
morning, the Lackawanna Industrial Heritage Group (LIHG) is continuing to speak
out, and canvass local neighborhoods. Petition signatures will be delivered to
Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski on Tuesday, November 27th. LIHG will meet in front of
Lackawanna City Hall, 714 Ridge Road at 3pm, and the media and public are
invited.

Despite the fact that the
State Historic Preservation Office has declared the building structurally
sound, this important part of our cultural heritage is under threat of
demolition by both the City of Lackawanna, and its private owners, Gateway
Trade. LIHG seeks to build consensus, and has presented several adaptive reuse
ideas, connected the owners to historic tax credit specialists, and is willing
to be the conduit to potential developers. LIHG is calling on the City to
relinquish its efforts to force demolition, and rather to pursue Certified
Local Government status, which will open the doors for grant money and a
meaningful dialogue about preservation’s economic development benefits. LIHG
asks Gateway Trade to issue a formal Request for Proposals, and properly board
up the building in the meantime.

For more information, please contact the Lackawanna
Industrial Heritage Group at (716-253-7775), visit
http://www.imsteelstanding.org  or
email info@oldtimeroots.com

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

View All Articles by Mike Puma
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