Originally published by WGRZ, “Lonely Vigil at Beth Steel Building Facing Demolition.”
If you drive the Skyway, you may have noticed the old Bethlehem Steel Administration building, that is slated to be demolished, is still standing.
That building remains intact for now despite all the predictions and expectations over the past few weeks that demolition would get underway.
It probably will happen at some point. But for now it is all quiet at the location on Fuhrmann Boulevard. There are excavators parked nearby and a contractor’s construction site trailer.
But right now the only person there is John Nowak who is a member of the Lackawanna Industrial Heritage preservation group.
He has set up this tent and brought his sleeping bag and other supplies to weather the cold near the lake while he stages his lonely vigil and protest.
And he is determined to stay for now even at the risk of getting arrested. Nowak says police said it might happen but they have apparently accepted his presence for now.
Nowak says he would like to see the front portion and façade of the building saved for possible use as a museum or office space as part of a waterfront development plan. But he says he does not know if any developer would step forward to save it.
As for the actual demolition, we determined there was some asbestos abatement in the building. But there are still some issues to be resolved for the demolition contractor to really start tearing it down.
There is still a court order in place obtained by the City of Lackawanna for the building site owner Gateway to tear it down.
City officials say preservationists don’t realize how unstable and dangerous the building really is.