Erie County Supreme Court Judge Kenneth Case has granted a 90 day stay in the case involving the the future of the Bethlehem Steel Administration building, the best example of any administration building for an extant industrial complex in Western New York. This photo is from Steel Plant Museum.
During this period Gateway Corporation will fully explore the possible reuse of this heritage building. fixBuffalo learned today that the completion of the National Register application that local preservationist Darren Cotten is currently writing will play a role in the building's future. Darren is a founding member of the Lackawanna Industrial Heritage Group (LIHG). This newly formed preservation advocacy group recently convened a number of meetings with local attorney William Magavern, Jason Yots - preservation consultant and Lackawanna's Common Council President Henry Pirowski and the building's owner.
During a recent meeting Jason Yots presented a compelling case involving the use of tax credit financing for a heritage reuse proposal. This proposal, along with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) recent decision to require a second survey of the building, has helped shape this new dialog around the building's future.
I discussed the outcome of yesterday's court decision with a number of LIHG's founding members today. They were excited to know that the Court, City of Lackawanna and the building's owners are now on board with some of the best urban planning and preservation practices in the region. In Buffalo we've learned that heritage building restoration often begins with bright shinning lights. The lighting of the Richardson Complex comes to mind. Imagine for a moment - removing the overgrown trees in front of the building and installing a few spotlights. The Bethlehem Steel Administration Building is an amazing building by day. It will be brilliant by night.
For additional images of one of the region's most amazing cathedrals of industry see these pics and especially this Facebook Group - Bethlehem Steel North Office Photography & Preservation - for some amazing interior photographs.
Bethlehem Steel North Office Building ReUse Part I