restoman: (Bob the Builder)
[personal profile] restoman
There is a complex of 4 very old industrial buildings a few blocks from my house that occupy most of a city block. The earliest one is a handsome Italianate style brick building with arched windows, rounded corners and a cupola on top. It was built in 1865 as a factory for making the windmills that pumped well-water on thousands of small farms across the country.* A series of manufacturing businesses occupied it after that including an early maker of gasoline engines.** The Erie Canal was just sixty feet away, guaranteeing easy transportation to other markets.

The Canal was filled in through downtown Syracuse in the 1920s. The buildings went through changes in use and ownership and eventually fell into disrepair. The current owners wanted to tear the buildings down and use the land for parking lots, but the city wanted them restored and used as commercial space. The owners did nothing until the buildings deteriorated so badly that demolition became the only practical option. The city began demolition a few weeks ago. They will add the demolition cost to the owner's tax bill, and he will probably lose the property.
This is the oldest part of the complex.



This ghost sign dates from its use as a factory for gasoline engines.

A backhoe knocks down part of the brick wall.

With the back wall demolished you get a clear view of the huge wooden truss beams that supported the roof.

I hate to see any cool old building get demolished, but my feelings toward this one are more ambivalent because this is where my friend Mark died last summer.

*For a look at one of the Empire Windmills manufactured here:

**For information and a picture of the Brennan Automobile manufactured here until 1908:

Date: 2017-02-04 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Sad the building went into decay and unable to be saved. Did you find some peace with the demo?

Date: 2017-02-05 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, Kevin, It was very depressing to watch this historic building fall into ruin over the past decade. And since July I haven't been able to pass by it without thinking of Mark's death behind it. Once the whole complex is gone I don't know if the pain of losing Mark will diminish when I pass by or if I will feel a sense of loss for both Mark and the building itself. :-/

Date: 2017-02-05 01:28 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-05 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, Troy.

*Hugs in return*

Date: 2017-02-05 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for sharing the history, both of the building and personal. *hugs*

Date: 2017-02-05 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the hugs, Chris.


I am glad you enjoyed the history there. I added a couple of links that you will probably enjoy.

Date: 2017-02-05 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That corner building was so cool.
Why would anybody think a parking lot would be better? :o

I'm sorry to hear about the sad connection for you. :(

Date: 2017-02-05 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it was a really cool building, Jon! It was one of my favorites in the city. The Brooklyn investor who bought the property a dozen years ago cared nothing for history or beauty. All he was interested in was making money and tax shelters.

Thanks, Jon. It has been more than half a year since Mark died, but I still think of him every day and miss him terribly. Josh, the red-haired kid who works for me was very close to Mark, too. Josh and I were Mark's closest friends.

Date: 2017-02-05 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's always about the money for some people. :(

It's that you two are close/friends and can share Mark's memory.

Date: 2017-02-05 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2017-02-05 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, Jerry.
*Big Hugs in return*

Date: 2017-02-05 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Definitely a handsome building.


Date: 2017-02-06 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*Hugs in return*

Syracuse has lost so much historic architecture since I have been here, Mark. It gets very frustrating and discouraging.
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