Originally published on WIVB, “Bethlehem demo issue due in court soon,” by Lou Raguse, 2012 11 18.
Link to video: Bethlehem demo issue due in court soon
LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Many preservationists protested outside the old Bethlehem Steel building otherwise known as the “Diamond of Lackawanna” to prevent its demolition.
The 90 day stay of the demolition order expires this week and a judge will rule again by the end of the month whether the building can be knocked down.
Although people say it employed thousands of people over the years, it hasn’t employed anyone in 30 years.
Windows are smashed, but the deterioration on the outside is nothing compared to what the city officials say is inside.
The city’s code enforcer says the second and third floor ceilings have collapsed and the floors are unstable.
The city has a court order for demolition, but in August, a judge extended a stay 90 days to give the building’s owner more time to file an appeal.
The 90 day stay expires Thanksgiving day and a judge will rule again on November 28th.
The preservationists would like to see the building fixed up and developed into maybe a shopping center, hotel, or restaurants; something to draw people to the area once again.
Andrea Haxton from Lackawanna says, “It’s not going to come back to that or anything, but we have to do something to tie Lackawanna in to all the good stuff happening in South Buffalo here. This would do it for us.”
Preservationist Bill Magavern says he pledged a significant amount of money to restore the building, but is disappointed there doesn’t seem o be a plan of what can be done with it.”It’s very difficult to save a historic building if the owner and municipality are not dedicated,” he says.
The protesters still hope the building can be saved.