Originally published by Mike Puma on Views of Buffalo and Buffalo Rising, “Bethlehem Steel Demolition Halted Due to Illegally Issued Demo Permit,” February 21, 2013.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo successfully filed an Article 78 today, which placed a temporary restraining order on the demolition of the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building. This petition argues that the City of Lackawanna issued the demolition permit to Gateway Trade Center without performing environmental review as required by the NYS Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR).
Originally published by Channel 4, WIVB, “Demo of Bethlehem Steel building halted” on February 21, 2013.
Preservationists have successfully halted the demolition of the former Bethlehem Steel administration building.
Crews moved in to begin to tear down the building after a lawsuit between the City of Lackawanna and the building’s owner ended last year with a judge approving the demolition. Part of the building has already been taken down.
On Thursday, the Campaign for Greater Buffalo announced it has succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order pending a hearing next Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court.
Originally published by The Buffalo News, “Court orders halt to demolition at Bethlehem Steel site,” February 21, 2013.
A group of preservationists has won a court order that temporarily stops the demolition at the site of the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building in Lackawanna, pending a hearing Wednesday in State Supreme Court.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo and attorney Richard G. Berger on Thursday won a temporary restraining order from acting State Supreme Court Justice Thomas P. Franczyk that, for now, halts the demolition work that began last month on an addition to the long-vacant structure on Fuhrmann Boulevard.
The building originally was scheduled for demolition in May, when the city obtained a court order forcing owner Gateway Trade Center to tear down the Beaux Arts-style building, which dates to 1901.
A 90-day stay granted in Erie County Court to give Gateway time to explore alternatives for reusing the building expired in November, and the company in December hired Zoladz Construction to perform the demolition.
The contractor on Jan. 24 began tearing down a rear chemical laboratory that was added decades after the original building.
Tim Tielman of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo said his group is seeking a permanent injunction barring further demolition until an environmental review is performed.
Lackawanna City Attorney Norman A. LeBlanc Jr. said Thursday afternoon that he had not yet seen Franczyk’s order but added that no environmental review is required because a City Court judge ordered the demolition after the building was condemned.
Another group of activists, the Lackawanna Industrial Heritage Group, has sued Gateway, arguing that the company hid a structural engineering report filed in August that determined the building was structurally sound.
DEMOLITION OF BETHLEHEM STEEL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING HALTED:
DEMO PERMIT WAS ISSUED ILLEGALLY WITHOUT PROPER ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
The Lackawanna Industrial Heritage Group (LIHG) was pleased to learn that The Campaign for Buffalo – History, Architecture & Culture, Inc. today filed an Article 78 Proceeding in New York State Supreme Court, which placed a temporary restraining order on the demolition of the historic Bethlehem Steel Administration Building in Lackawanna, New York. Their petition maintains that the City of Lackawanna issued a demolition permit to the owner, GATEWAY TRADE CENTER, INC., on December 17, 2012, without performing environmental review as required by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR). The suit contends that the demolition permit is therefore a nullity in that it was issued illegally. The Campaign is seeking a permanent injunction on the demolition of the building until full compliance with SEQR is demonstrated. A hearing is scheduled before Hon. James H. Dillon for Wednesday, February 27th at 9:30 a.m.
Richard Berger, Esq., a local attorney with experience in environmental and preservation law, representing The Campaign, stated, “SEQR mandates all agencies of government to prepare an ‘Environmental Impact Statement on any action they propose or approve which may have a significant effect on the environment.’ Even actions which do not require a full Impact Statement, still require careful environmental review and findings. It appears that none was carried out in this instance. We hope that our filing today will halt the demolition of the Administration Building and lead to its ultimate restoration and reuse.”
“The City and Gateway should make every attempt to honor workers who spent much of their lives at Bethlehem Steel. Instead, they’re doing all they can to destroy our heritage, and with it the potential that ‘Old North’ has to create jobs and bring people to the shore of Lake Erie. I for one am relieved that there is an engaged group of citizens continuing to fight for justice, and I am proud to stand with them,” said Romaine Lillis, Lackawanna resident and longtime member of the Lackawanna Historical Society.
There is an open lawsuit filed by LIHG, heard on February 13, 2013 in Lackawanna City Court, regarding the discovery of a previously withheld structural engineering report concluding that the building is structurally sound and of no immediate danger of collapse, as the City of Lackawanna contends. Hon. Judge Marrano reserved judgement in the case but a verdict is expected soon.
LIHG is prepared to cooperate with The Campaign for Greater Buffalo in any way needed.
The imsteelstanding.org website is the best place to stay informed.
Contact David Torke, founding LIHG Member: 716-602-5440 or firstname.lastname@example.org