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.
1.
This is the oldest part of the complex.


2.

3.

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

5.
A backhoe knocks down part of the brick wall.

6.
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: https://books.google.com/books?id=7M9C1Adp0yQC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=Empire+Windmill+Manufacturing+Co&source=bl&ots=MGjQL-c82f&sig=8MJzscHIheTCOH86UA52HFyaDl4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP-LyThvjRAhWL3YMKHSbLDVUQ6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q=Empire%20Windmill%20Manufacturing%20Co&f=false

**For information and a picture of the Brennan Automobile manufactured here until 1908: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennan_Motor_Manufacturing_Company
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