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WBEN Commentary & Opinion

 
Thoughts from WBEN/WGR/WWKB Operations Manager Tim Wenger
Find Tim on Twitter at http://twitter.com/timWBEN


Sometimes It's Best To Tear Things Down

As a lifelong Western New Yorker, I sometimes get the feeling there is a sector of this community that wants to save everything, remember everything and live in the past.  While I don't want to come off as someone with no regard to history, preservation and our roots, it's simply not rational or economically feasible to save every structure in this area that has a page of historical significance.

As a frequent traveler of Route 5 along the Lake Erie shoreline, I pass the century-old Bethlehem Steel Administration building often.  Most times I don't even notice it.  It's surrounded by the decaying remnants of a historically-significant steel mill and some second-life industry that's occupying the completely industrial zone.  To the north the building is bordered by the rejuvenated Buffalo waterfront and to the south by Woodlawn Beach State Park.  Imagine if we could connect the two with additional public use waterfront acreage and not have to divert visitors attention as we drive them by the old steel mill and hope they won't notice what an eyesore it truly is.

I'll take the preservationists word that the building has some historical significance.  So too did the churches that have been demolished and other real estate in the region that simply doesn't make geographic or economic sense to save.  I'm guessing Lackawanna's future would be better bolstered by a rejuvenated waterfront industrial or recreational redo than a shell of a building that will be home to a historic marker out front.
We have a rich and treasured past here in Western New York.  And we should celebrate it.  But, at the same time, with limited resources we should be pretty darn choosy about what we save and spend money on to invest in the future.

With no disrespect to those who disagree and have protested at the building, my bet is that most who read this won't truly miss the building, if they even knew it was there to begin with.


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Locations : BuffaloNew YorkWestern New York




 
03/07/2013 4:37PM
Sometimes It's Best To Tear Things Down
Let me know what you think....
03/08/2013 9:53AM
Ignorant
You are. We have lost the majority of downtown Buffalo to demolition. Where is the hope, the pride happening in Buffalo? Canal Side, Larkin, Lafayette, West Side, Black Rock, Elmwood Village, near East Side, South Buffalo, etc. What do all these havein common? They are being anchored by adaptive reuse projects. Meanwhile, vacant, shovel-ready sites abound....not progressing, not contributing to the tax rolls.
03/08/2013 11:19AM
olod buildings
These people that want to keep the old buildings should be made to repair them & make them safe, other wise knock them down & move on ! Take a picture & post it !
03/08/2013 12:51PM
Well said
I couldn't of said it better myself. It is time to think about the future and stop living in the past. Most people including my father don't have good memories of that building. It's where they received a slip of paper telling them they no longer had a job. Many before it was time to retire. Time to go forward
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