Building History + Architect Info

Historical Images

History of Beth Steel Timeline

  • Labor strikes, lack of rail infrastructure, and increasing costs forced Scranton to consider a move from PA
  • Feb 1899 was a mgmt shakeup where LC Holden, a Second Vice-President, was removed from his role.
  • March  1899, Scranton & Wehrum came from PA to meet John Milburn (lawyer), who brought industrialist John J. Albright into the negotiations.
  • Next day, Rogers suggested South Buffalo, and they drove out in carriages to Stony Point
  • April 1899: Albright was charged with securing the site, paying cheap rates due to speculation it was for Pan-Am
  • Construction of the mill began 14 July 1900
  • They dredged ship canal and built miles of rr track
  • Admin bldg plans submitted 1900; bldg completed 1901.
  • Company town started in 1901 lacked most services and sat empty for years
  • 2,000 workers of 6,000 total came from Scranton
  • Rear wings were added to the administration bldg 1910-1920
  • Company demanded infrastructure from town W Seneca who could little afford it. 1909, they agreed to separate municipality after outbreaks of cholera/typhoid in substandard housing.
  • Major strike in fall 1919 closed the plant for 5 days, some strikers stayed out till June 1920
  • Acquired in 1922 by Bethlehem Steel
  • In 1940s, mill employed over 20,000 ppl and was world’s largest steel factory

Architectural Photos by Buffalo as an Architectural Museum

Short Documentary by Spencer Morgan

About the Architect, Lansing Holden

Previous to designing the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building, Lansing Colton Holden worked with Isaac G. Perry who was officially designated (by Grover Cleveland in 1883) State Architect, on the New York State Capitol Building. A fire occurred in 1911, destroying much of the building and leading to a $5M rebuilding campaign. But that is nothing compared to the $25M it took to build the original classical building!

Holden Biographical Timeline

  • Born 1858, Rome NY
  • His father owned a marble yard in Utica, NY
  • He attended public schools in Utica, Buffalo
  • May have attended college at Wooster University in Ohio
  • Worked under architect Isaac G. Perry, who was appointed State Architect by Grover Cleveland in 1883.
  • Designed numerous extant structures:
  • 1896: Scranton Board of Trade (later Electric bldg)
  • 1897: Scranton Dry Goods
  • 1900: Lackawanna Iron & Steel Co. Administration Building, Buffalo
  • 1901: Scranton armory
  • 1903: Nathan Littauer Hospital, Gloversville- addition
  • 1912: Bayonne NJ Trust building; Christian Workers’ home, Manhattan, Gramercy Pk.
  • Died 1930 in Kent Cliffs, NY outside of NYC (Link to Obituary)

Buildings by L.C. Holden

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2 comments

  1. Quill Teal-Sullivan

    Hello, I am very interested to learn about the Beth Steel building and your efforts to preserve it. Lansing C. Holden was my great-great grandfather. I hope that you are able to save it!

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