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HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY LACKAWANNA, NY

D A R R E N C O T T O N / / D E PA RT M E N T O F U R B A N P L A N N I N G / / U R B A N D E S I G N B U F FA L O S C H O O L O F A R C H I T E C T U R E + P L A N N I N G


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Lackawanna and later Bethlehem Steel Plant located in Lackawanna, NY was one of the largest industrial centers in the county. The complex allowed for an interplay between technology, utility, structure and economics to create an urban form that, while highly vernacular to the city itself, has left an incredibly rich landscape behind. Several decades after the plant’s closing, fewer and fewer of these original buildings remain to tell Lackawanna’s story. One building that does remain, however, is the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building. An incredible example of Beaux-Arts architecture, the Administration Building sits vacant and vandalized at a critical gateway between the city, Route 5, and the waterfront. By

leveraging

the

resources

of

local

institutions, while extracting best practices from case studies across the country, Lackawanna has the potential to create a template for cash-strapped municipalities to preserve and reuse their heritage structures in a way that does not dilute or commodify these buildings’ importance to the material culture of the municipality. Utilizing historic tax credits that would be made available once the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places creates a financial incentive for stakeholders interested in the building’s redevelopment. Similarly, Lackawanna’s Brownfield Opportunity Area provides a vehicle with which to assess the building and market the site, while also engaging the public and building a network of supporters around its preservation. By incorporating greenspace and a waterfront park into a publically accessible complex, the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building site has the potential to

truly

transform

outdated

perceptions

Lackawanna for both residents and visitors alike.

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT

of


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION

01

II. HISTORICAL CONTEXT

02

III. EXISTING CONDITIONS

03

Context and Ownership Zoning Shoreline & Seaway Trail

IV. CASE STUDIES

08

Public Health Service Hospital Manayunk Public Library V. ANALYSIS

10

Pre-existing Plans VI. RECOMMENDATTIONS

12

VII. IMPLEMENTATION

14

VIII. ACTION PLAN TIMELINE

16

IX. CONCLUSION

17

ENDNOTES

18

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HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 - Bethlehem Steel Building Footprints

01

FIGURE 2 - Historic Steel Mill

01

FIGURE 3 - Administration Building Historic Photo

03

FIGURE 4 - Administration Building Northern Wing

03

FIGURE 5 - South side of Administration Building

04

FIGURE 6 - Northern Wing Disrepair

04

FIGURE 7 - Administration Building Interior

04

FIGURE 8 - Union Ship Canal Context

05

FIGURE 9 - Context Map

05

FIGURE 10 - Proximity Map

06

FIGURE 11 - Shoreline Signage

07

FIGURE 12 - Public Health Service Hospital After

08

FIGURE 13 - Public Health Service Hospital After

08

FIGURE 14 - Manayunk Public Library

09

FIGURE 15 - Architectural Detailing

10

FIGURE 16 - Fuhrmann Boulevard

11

FIGURE 17 - Urban Design Cross-section

13

FIGURE 18 - Heritage Detailing

13

FIGURE 19 - 3D Visualization

14

FIGURE 20 - Site Signage

15 DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 1

I. INTRODUCTION Western New York is a region that has seen its population stagnate over the past few decades even as its development footprint has ballooned out to second and third ring suburbs. This has led to a growing trend of abandonment, blight and wholesale demolition of neighborhoods in the urban core. One of the communities burdened by this unsustainable form of development is the City of Lackawanna, NY. With a history inexorably linked to the rise, growth, and eventual decline of the Bethlehem Steel Company, one of the largest employers in the region, Lackawanna has

Figure 2 - Bethlehem Steel Plant (HABS / HAER)

struggled to transition its economy past traditional

seen by thousands of cars on Route 5 everyday. Yet,

manufacturing. Additionally, saddled with the

how does a municipality facing population loss, an

remediation and legacy costs of redeveloping

eroding tax base, and dwindling federal dollars

Bethlehem Steel’s sprawling waterfront site as seen

possibly mothball and preserve heritage structures

in Figure 1, Lackawanna must find a way to transform

such as the Administration Building that might one

this liability into an asset. Perhaps nowhere is this

day provide the foundation of urban revitalization?

more apparent than in the decaying façade of the once grand Bethlehem Steel Administration Building

This project seeks to identify and evaluate the possibility of not only mothballing this structure, but utilizing it in innovate ways that put it back into productive use by the community. The Administration Building, along with the few other heritage structures

like

those

seen

in Figure 2, are part of the material culture of Lackawanna and are intrinsically linked to its past. While the ecological and

economic

ramifications

of brownfield redevelopment are often lauded as the most important

components

of

returning sites such as these to productive use, redevelopment Figure 1 - Bethlehem Steel Plant building footprint circa 1984. Note that the land targeted for greenspace next to the Administration Building has never been built upon efforts divorced from a site’s and thus only low level remediation will be required. (Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society)

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2 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY context, its history, and urban environment risks

conditions, and even its existence are due in large

producing nothing more than a

part to its largest employer at one time, Bethlehem

“landscape of consumption that belies a sort of tabula rasa planning.”1

Steel Company. To understand the basis for this

Efforts to preserve the Administration Building and re-imagine the surrounding waterfront site must be tempered with a greater understanding of their individual and communal significance within the city’s cultural framework. Not only is there an opportunity to save a building of both architectural and historical significance, but there is also an opportunity to leverage the redevelopment of the surrounding grounds into recreational greenspace that will allow an urban population to rediscover a waterfront that has been inaccessible for over a century by weaving into the region’s Shoreline Trail.

region’s steel industry

The Lake Erie waterfront should be conceptualized as one contiguous destination not beholden to any single municipality. Right now the boundary separating Buffalo from Lackawanna is further delineated in a noticeable lack of proper streetscaping and landscaping. The Administration Building and adjacent land, along with Union Ship Canal, Small Boat Harbor, Tifft Nature Preserve, Gallagher Beach, etc. all strung together by a contiguous bike path, nature trail and scenic byway are one of a kind attractions that will continue to draw more people to the waterfront and act as an impetus for continued reinvestment.

project and the direction it takes Lackawanna in, one must understand the birth, rise, and fail of the

In the spring of 1899 a group of enterprising Buffalo businessmen met at the Buffalo Club to discuss the region, its direction and its future. Their motivating factor was to lure the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company from Scranton, PA to the shores of Lake Erie. After raising $2.5 million in private capital, land along the shore of West Seneca was purchased and assembled as it was advantageously located near water and rail. Construction of the mill began in 1900 and would finish less than a year later. 2 The company was reorganized as the Lackawanna Steel Company in 1902. Eventually the western portion of West Seneca was incorporated as an independent municipality, taking the name Lackawanna. Lackawanna Steel was eventually folded into Bethlehem Steel in 1922 as the aging machinery and unionization efforts had begun cutting into their profits. At its peak, the steel plant employed over 20,000 people and was responsible for nearly 70% of the city’s tax revenue. Due to a rapidly evolving international

II. HISTORICAL CONTEXT

economic system and the rise of globalism,

Lackawanna is a relatively small post-

Bethlehem Steel had allowed its plant in Lackawanna

industrial city in Erie County New York. As of

to fall into obsolesce. In 1982 the plant official

2010, the city had a population of just over 18,000

closed its doors laying off nearly 10,000 workers.3

residents. The city is 6.1 square miles and is bordered

Only a few ancillary departments employing a few

on the North by the city of Buffalo, the east by West

hundred people remained active on the site. After

Seneca, the South by Hamburg and the West by

being designated as a Superfund site by the EPA,

Lake Erie. The city is served by state and interstate

subsequent remediation work has demolitions

highways, rail, and is also home to the region’s

all but a few industrial vestiges of the world’s

only deep water port. The city’s history, its present

largest steel plant at one time. One of the few buildings to remain from the plants early days is the

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 3 administration building. The

Lackawanna

faces by many of these same workers. The office Steel

Administration

Building was constructed in 1901 by New York Architect L.C Holden. As seen in Figure 3, it was built

included many modern amenities and consisted of “3 fireplaces, library, billiard room, reading room, private dining room, and private bath.” 6

in a Beaux Arts style, with highly ornate detailing.

The Administration Building became the

When it was first constructed many commented that

“North Office” after a new office was constructed

the building did not look like a typical corporate

further down Route 5 in Hamburg. Mechanical,

headquarters. One observer remarked “It looks

electrical, plant security and utilities were then

more like a museum, even suggesting in general

transferred into the North Office building.

outline the building of the Buffalo Historical Society

building was vacated when the plant closed in 1982.

in Delaware Park.” The building is one of the few

The

7

4

Beaux Arts buildings remaining in the region and thus plays an important role in rounding out the region’s architectural lineage.

While different reuse scenarios for the vacant

building

have

been

entertained

over

the years, no steps have been taken to properly mothball the property or stem its deterioration. The development of a comprehensive preservation plan for the building is becoming an increasingly critical issue, as demolition by the city remains a constant threat. In both 2006 and 2009, the city council passed resolutions that would have authorized an emergency demolition of the property.

8 9

Fortunately, these demolitions were contingent on state funding that was never ultimately allocated.

Figure 3 - The Lackawanna Steel Administration Building upon completion in 1901 (Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society)

Wings were added on to the original building to make room for additional offices and labs. The south wing was added first, between 1909-1910, while the north wing, seen in Figure 4, was added approximately 10 years later, between 1919-1920.

5

The building is where a majority of the executive staff operated out of during Lackawanna Steel’s existence

Figure 4 - View looking south towards the Administration Building. The utilitarian north wing abuts the beaux-arts main building. (Author)

and into the buyout facilitated by Bethlehem Steel. Many workers and their families recall having to pick up their paychecks from the office and being

III. EXISTING CONDITIONS

amazed at the grandeur and opulence of the

A majority of the analysis for this project

structure, especially compared with the conditions

was developed from site visits, historical research,

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4 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY façade and masonry work of the exterior are in remarkably good condition. No noticeable shifts or cracks in the foundation were recorded and all walls appears straight and structurally sound. While looking at historical photos it became evident that the elaborate copper cornice had been removed or fallen off at some point. The roof seemed to be in poor condition, especially around those dormers that were left open to the elements as evident in Figure 5. Interestingly enough, it appears as though the more

Figure 6 - The northern wing of the building is in a state of serious disrepair due to water infiltration. (Author)

Figure 5 - The entrance on the south side of the building was actually used as the original main entrance. (Author)

and case studies. While touring the site it became evident that the building was not secured properly and had become the target for vandalism. A majority of the windows had been broken and no effort had been made to board them up to protect the interior from the elements. Due to liability issues, an interior tour was not possible, but from pictures available online one is able to ascertain the extent of damage

Figure 7 - The extent of the interior

done by water infiltration. Most of the ceilings have water damage is clearly visible. A patched collapsed along with those staircases that hadn’t roof and boarded windows would help in creating a weather tight envelope

already been pillaged. While most of the interior around the building. (www.flickr.com/ would be unsalvageable as evident in Figure 7, the photos/tunnelbug/)

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HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 5 BETHLEHEM STEEL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING AND GROUNDS HIGHWAY

LAKE ERIE

NYS SHORELINE TRAIL N MAN FUHR

TARGET AREA BUILDING FOOTPRINT

D EVAR BOUL

ANAL HIP C

NS UNIO

YORK

5.6 ACRES

seen in Figure 6 were missing, exposing entire

UTE 5

the worst shape. Large utilitarian windows

RO STATE

contemporary additions to the building are in

IVE E DR MERC COM

NEW

Figure 8 - Looking north towards Union Ship Canal. The chainlink fence and lack of streetscaping creates a visual disconnect between the Administration Building in Lackawanna and a redeveloped Fuhrmann Boulevard n Buffalo. (Author)

floors to the weather. A majority of the glass M FUHR

had already been broken.

O ANN B

FALO F BUF

RD ULEVA

O PORT

As seen in Figure 8, the site itself is surrounded on its eastern side by barbed wire fences. This significantly detracts from

RIDGE ROAD

the visual appeal of Fuhrmann Boulevard and creates a disconnect between the Union Ship Canal, pedestrian pathways and the street. The lack of maintenance and investment seen along the public right-of-way further

0

0.05

0.1

0.2 Miles

NORTH

reinforces the municipal border between Lackawanna and Buffalo.

Figure 9 - Relationship between the Administration Building and its context. (Author)

Context and Ownership The site under consideration for this project is approximately 5.6 acres and consists of the Administration building as well as the land running north from the building to the Union Ship Canal as seen in Figure 9.0.

It is only a few hundred feet from the border between the City of Lackawanna and the City of Buffalo. The site runs parallel to New York State Route 5 and is accessible via Fuhrmann Boulevard. From Fuhrmann Boulevard, the site is approximately 300 feet deep and from the Canal to the south side of the property is 800 feet wide. The site’s main connector to the rest of the city is

- Site Frontage: 805 feet

Ridge Road, which cuts under Route 5 and bisects

- Site Depth: 303 feet

Fuhrmann Boulevard less than a mile south of

- Site Area: 243,915 square feet

- Site Acreage: 5.6 acres (43,560 sq.ft./acre)

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT

the Administration Building. It is currently owned by Gateway Trade Center, a subsidiary of Buffalo Crushed Stone and is part of a much larger complex


6 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

BETHLEHEM STEEL ADMININSTRATION BUILDING CONTEXT MAP

Central Business District - 5.1 miles

10 24 Inner Harbor / Naval Museum - 4.5 miles

9

20 NFTA Small Boat Harbor - 2.0 miles

5

6 21

Tifft Nature Preserve 2.0 miles

5

NYS Shoreline Trail

6 21

Union Ship Canal 0.2 miles

I-190

1

Destination

1

3

Botanical Gardens 1.5 miles

Bethlehem Steel Admin Building

3

7 27 Downtown Lackawanna- 1.8 miles

4 NORTH

0

0.35

0.7

1.4 MILES

9 35

TRAVEL TIME IN MUNUTES

Figure 10 - The Administration Building’s proximity to other developments/destinations in the immediate vicinity along with multi-modal travel times. (Author)

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HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 7 that includes the Port of Buffalo (deepest port in Western New York).

10

A satellite office of the water

authority is located in a one story brick office to

Zoning The

Administration

Building

and

its

the South of the administration building. The main

grounds are located within a stretch of land that

entrance to the site is located to the south of this

runs parallel to Route 5. This land has a zoning

office building with a surface parking lot fronting

designation of Business Park (BR-BPA).

Fuhrmann Boulevard. To the immediate west of

the high visibility of these parcels from Route 5

the property further into to Gateway Trade Center

and Fuhrmann Boulevard, they function as “the

are several large metal clad warehouses. These

face” for the entire Bethlehem Steel Company site

are primarily used for the transfer and storage of

as it redevelops. The northern part of this zoning

material. The portion of land that is targeted for

designation where the Administration Building

green space is used for outdoor storage space. A

is located is not considered a Brownfield Cleanup

pedestrian bridge crossing the Union Ship Canal,

Program Area. This area has been targeted for

along with improved streetscaping and expanded

office, commercial, and research and development

boardwalk are all located near the Route 5 gateway

activities. 12 Railroad tracks that once ran parallel to

for this site and the successful Buffalo Lake Side

Route 5 have been moved further into the interior

Commerce Park.

of the property increasing the attractiveness of

11

Due to

these parcels for redevelopment. 13 As in

seen

Figure

10,

the

Administration Building

is

ideally

located at a critical juncture

between

the region’s largest concentration

of

jobs in Downtown Buffalo,

the

expanding

ever-

number

of attractions along the

Outer

Harbor,

and

the

major

Figure 11 - A sign for the Shoreline thoroughfare of Trail located in Union Ship Canal Ridge Road leading Park. (Author)

into

the

heart

of Lackawanna. In this capacity, a redeveloped Administration Building would act as a connector and waypoint for multimodal transportation along the Outer Harbor.

Shoreline & Seaway Trail The site’s northern boundary is also part of the City of Buffalo’s Shoreline Trail, which itself, is but a small segment of New York State’s Great Lakes Seaway Trail. The 454-mile Trail runs along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Buffalo River, the Niagara River, and the St. Lawrence River. The Shoreline Trail is New York’s only U.S. Department of Transportation National Scenic Byway, which are a collection of byways that highlight a region’s unique natural and cultural characteristics. The goal of the program is to encourage travelers to stray from the interstate highways to explore the different cultural and historic experiences in towns and cities across the country. The Trail contains historic sites ranging from those involved with the Underground Railroad, War of 1812, Erie Canal, and various other heritage sites. As part of the program, Municipalities enjoy byway marketing assistance and funding for heritage projects such as the signage seen in Figure 11, as well as restrictions against billboards from the Department of Transportation. 14

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


8 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY Location: Located approximately 4 miles from downtown San Francisco within the 1491 acre Presidio Park Size: •

30 acres

400,000 sq/ft

Cost: $75 million Barriers to Development: • Working with the constraints of a National Historic Landmark District • Cost of demolishing the hospital’s non-historic wings • Potential incompatibility with the Presidio’s Vegetation Management Plan, ongoing quail habitat conservation, or the Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan. • Environmental remediation Figure 12 & 13 - The Presidio pre- and post-rehabiliation. The non-historic wings were demolished to restore the building to its original grander. (http://thepresidiolandmark.com/)

IV. CASE STUDIES Two contemporary case studies were chosen for their relevance to the proposed redevelopment of the Bethlehem Steel Administration site. The studies follow the redevelopment and conversion of two abandoned institutional buildings into modern upscale residential communities. Together they chronicle the importance heritage and community can play in the redevelopment of these unique landscapes and prove that not only is a project like this viable, but it’s happening in cities across the country right now

Public Health Service Hospital Built in 1875 and originally called the U.S. Marine Hospital, the Public Health Service Hospital located several miles outside of downtown San Francisco initially tended to the needs of merchant seamen. A new hospital replaced the old in 1932, and two wings as seen in Figure 12 were added in the 1950s. The Public Health Service Hospital ceased operations as a hospital in 1981. The hospital remained partially occupied until 1989 when its final tenants vacated the premises. The hospital sat vacant, becoming a magnet for vandalism, vagrants and crime, until 2009 when the structure was targeted for adaptive reuse as part of a much larger redevelopment of the 1000+ acre site (the

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 9 Presidio) the building sat on. 15

the successful redevelopment of the Public Health

In April 2003, the Presidio Trust issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to rehabilitate and lease the former PHSH complex. The RFQ required

Service Hospital after more than twenty years of being neglected and vandalized has proven this is simply not the case.

that the main hospital building, listed on the National Register, be rehabilitated and converted to residential use. During the RFQ process the Trust

Manayunk Public Library

staff met with neighborhood, environmental, and

The next case study comes from a working

preservation groups, individuals, and government

class neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

agencies to discuss both the environmental review

Built in 1909 by renowned Philadelphia architect

and the leasing process. The Trust ultimately decided

Benjamin Rush Stevens in the Beaux Arts style, the

on four alternatives that reflected the concerns of

Manayunk branch of the Philadelphia public library

the public in which the developers were to work

stands as a testament to the power of community

within the parameters of.16 Selected by The Presidio

organizing and the enduring architecture of former

Trust after the RFP process, Forest City proceeded

institutional buildings. The building was originally

with the rehabilitation of the historic buildings. The

constructed as part of the Andrew Carnegie Library

project architect decided that the non-historic wings

Endowment Program and was one of the grandest

could and should be demolished. The remaining

built in Philadelphia at the time. During the 1960’s,

historic seven-story structure seen in Figure 13 was

with a rapidly suburbanizing population and falling

renamed the Presidio Landmark and now houses

tax revenues, Philadelphia found itself in a situation

154 luxury apartments. 17

much like Lackawanna does today. The Library was

What this case study has shown is that not only is the preservation of a building appropriate, but so too is the restoration of a building through

decommissioned and sold to a neighboring nursing home. It would remain part of the nursing home until 2006 when it was vacated after the nursing

selective demolition to its original design aesthetic. The demolition of the Hospital’s non-historic wings have helped restore the building’s grandeur and iconic nature, while still retaining a level of integrity to allow for access to historic tax credit funding. While the markets of San Francisco and Lackawanna are extremely disparate, the two buildings’ poor accessibility and lack of connection to the rest of their respective city create similar hurdles to redevelopment. The threat of both real and perceived contamination also makes redevelopment increasingly difficult. Finally, both of these buildings have

experienced

abandonment

measured

in

decades, leading to an argument often cited that Figure 14 - The Manayunk Public Library as it looked when it

first opened. The Beaux Arts detailing is very similar to what is

they are too far gone to be redevelopment. Yet, seen on the Administration Building. (HABS/HAER)

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


10 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY home consolidated its operations.

18

Though it has

been underutilized for more than half a century, the

V. ANALYSIS

library retains an amazing amount of its architectural

The North Office Building is not currently

integrity on the exterior. The outside still features

listed on the National Register of Historic Places,

the decorative terracotta window surrounds, entry

however, according the criteria for eligibility, the

portico with charcter-defining ionic columns, and

building would qualify under criterion A which states

deeply sloped rafter tails. However, similar to the

a building is “associated with events that have made a

Administration Building, a majority of the interior

significant contribution to the broad patterns of our

has been compromised over the years.

history” as well as criterion C which states a building

In the past year, the building had been targeted for demolition by the Philadelphia Residential Development Corporation as part of the redevelopment of the adjacent nursing home. Due to the buildings iconic status in the neighborhood, and an incredible push back from community organizations,

however,

the

PRDC

has

since

incorporated the library into the redevelopment plan as seven condominiums. 19

“that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.”20 The building fits criterion A because it reflects Lackawanna’s importance in the industrialization and manufacturing legacy of the region. The building is also eligible under criterion C because of its type of architecture. Architected-

Although the library is of a smaller scale

designed in a Beaux-arts style, with grey brick on

than the Administration Building, it shares many

a rusticated ashler, the building typifies a high

similarities and provides insight into the possible

style. Decorative ornate features that are easily

reuse of the building. Located in working class

identifiable on the front and side facades are: Figure 15 - Example of an ornate entrance featuring a corbelled entablature (Author)

neighborhood of rowhouses, the Beaux Arts building is nearly as conspicuous and non-contextual as the Administration Building is fronting the Bethlehem Steel brownfield site. The Beaux Arts architecture and renowned architect of the Manayunk Library lend themselves to National Register eligibility and an opportunity for the developer to take advantage of historic tax credits. The lesson to be drawn from

• Copper pediments with dental molding and rectangular modillions

this case study is the power grassroots organizing

• Highly stylized Corinthian brick pilasters

and public sentiment can play in pushing adaptive reuse over demolition. Due to the Administration

• Port hole windows

Building having no residential neighborhood in close

• Pedimented copper 3rd story wall dormer

proximity and a rather negative public perception,

• Corbelled entablature (Figure 15)

the importance of community organizing and a public awareness campaign becomes increasing apparent.

• Palladian window • Swags, ballistrades, cartouches number of other classical details

and

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HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 11 Due to the extensive deterioration of the

for use by automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians

office wings added to the back of the main building

alike. The area around this site is one major link in

and the fact that they would be noncontributing

that greenway and has the potential to truly connect

to the NR nomination, it is recommended that any

Lackawanna with its waterfront.

reuse plan would target them for demolition. Once the building is listed on the Register, if redeveloped, the building would be eligible for 20% federal historic preservation tax credits.

Pre-existing Plans It is clear that the overall vision of this project is in line with the city’s comprehensive plan which defined one major goal as developing Lackawanna’s regional identity by marketing its industrial heritage. The Bethlehem Steel Administration Building is specifically mentioned in the city’s local waterfront revitalization plan, which states: “The fomer employment office of the Bethlehem Steel Plant represents a unique architectural form within the former steel plant complex. Due to the importance of steel making operations to the growth and development of the City, It is in the public interest to promote the preservation of locally significant structures which can serve as a reminder to our area residents of the site’s history. Public and private dollars shall be used… to rehabilitate the structure into a regional trade center.” 21 The current approach to the Administration Building from Union Ship Canal is not congruent with the vision set out by the comprehensive plan addendum. The property to the north of the administration building is largely used for storage and has been chainlinked off from the rest of the shoreline trail. This does not “improve the scenic beauty”. Visual cohesiveness should be an integral part of Fuhrmann Boulevard regardless of the municipality in which it is located. As evident in Figure 16, this boulevard has the opportunity to become a major north to south greenway connecter

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT

Figure 16 - Fuhrmann Boulevard functions largely as a multimodal road, trail, and bike bath in the City of Buffalo. The portion of the road in Lackawanna lacks such amenities. (Author)


12 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

VI. RECOMMENDATIONS

extended along Route 5 to improve circulation and

City officials should approach Buffalo Crushed

any one municipality. Streetscape improvements and

Stone and Gateway Trade Center into either deeding

roadway reconfiguration as seen in Figure 17 should

over the land or entering into a long term lease that

be assessed as part of Lackawanna’s First Ward

would include both the building and the surrounding

Brownfield Opportunity Area.

property.

reinforce the idea that the waterfront transcends

A proper structural analysis should be

done of the building to make sure that it is in fact salvageable. From reports and communications with experts in the field, it looks as though the more contemporary additions are less structurally sound than their historical counterparts and could in fact be candidates for demolition. As seen in the case study of the Public Health Service Hospital where non-historic wings of an NR listed building were demolished, this is both feasible and appropriate.

While historic tax credits may help offset the cost of rehabilitating the building, synthesizing the vision for this site with the long term community and economic development goals of Lackawanna’s Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) provides the best avenue for realizing this project. Currently in phase two of a three phase development program, the First Ward BOA in Lackawanna is undergoing an in-depth analysis of the area’s existing conditions as officials attempt to identify those resources that can best be

Once a structural report is in place, the property

leverages as a catalyst for future revitalization. One

should be stabilized and properly mothballed for

of the recommendations outlined in this project has

future reuse and as funds become available. The

already been identified by Lackawanna officials in

building should be listed on the National Register in

a recent news article where they were quoted as

order to gain access to historic tax credits and bring

saying:

increased attention to the structure. National Register

for demolition as it did in 2009, the Restore New

“Additional state and federal incentives are likely to be available to projects down the road that redevelop First Ward brownfields…[such as the] continuation through Lackawanna of a waterfront bike path that runs along Fuhrmann Boulevard in Buffalo and ends abruptly near the Buffalo-

York funds that had been targeted for that purpose

Lackawanna border.” 22

status would also protect the building from being demolished using state or federal funding. Thus, if the city council were to draft a resolution advocating

would have been ineligible. Local landmark status should also be discusses and explored as it would provide protection from demolition even in cases where private rather than state of federal funding is involved.

up to 90 percent of a project’s total cost. Eligible activities can include “community outreach and public participation, market studies, environmental impact studies, marketing, development of design

Improved lighting, fencing, and support structures

BOA funding provides a municipality with

should

be

implemented

to

keep

standards, and various other actions that will result in the redevelopment of the targeted brownfield

deterioration from progressing any further. Once

area.”

the structure is secured the city should work

Steel Administration site stands to benefit the most

collaboratively with Buffalo Crushed Stone to

would be marketing, facilitation of public private

acquire the property that runs from the North of

partnerships,

the building to the Union Ship Canal. Greenway,

marketing assistance includes the production of

23

The three areas where the Bethlehem

and

community

outreach.

While

green infrastructure and bike path should all be

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 13 Figure 17 - A cross-section of Fuhrmann Boulevard in front of the Administration Building. Multi-modal transportation is stressed while on street parking is utilized as a way to maximize greenspace for the park. (Author)

for the site should be fully flushed out through public meetings, design charrettes, and opening the site up to the public. The RFP should then stipulate conditions set by the community as well as those

20ft

8ft

TREE LAWN

ON-STREET PARKING

10ft

20ft PEDESTRIAN/BIKE PATH

10ft FUHRMANN BOULEVARD

20ft

ON-STREET PARKING

NATURAL REGENERATION AREA

set out by various pre-existing plans. The

second

area

mentioned

within

the

BOA

programming

establishment

is

of

the

public

private partnerships. Critical to the success of this project, is

physical material such as brochures and renderings,

the

and

identification

collaboration

of

among

also included in the category are requests for

stakeholders who will be able to approach

proposals. Thus, not only would design material

redevelopment through a multifocal lens of

become available to show the potential for reusing

education, business, and community. This will

the structure and redeveloping the grounds, but

ensure that even as the site is targeted for potential

also the capacity to launch

tax generating activities, details within the built

a national and perhaps

environment pay homage to the site’s industrial

even

past, such as the example given in Figure 18.

international

for

call

redevelopment Community

Finally, with respect to the re-use of this

engagement throughout

building, one of the most difficult obstacles to

the entire process will be

overcome has nothing to do with funding or

a critical component of

perceived environmental contamination, but rather

the RFP. Issues, concerns,

what the building embodied for a generation of

suggestions

residents. While it served as the Administration

proposals.

and

hopes

Figure 18 - Union Ship Canal Park includes features such as original railroad ties to highlight the site’s industrial heritage. (Author)

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT

Building,

it

symbolized

capitalist

greed

and

oppression to a majority of blue collar workers in the city. The white collar people as well as corporate leaders who worked in the building often times did


14 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

TE 5

ROU

ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

NYS SHORELINE TRAIL

ON -ST REE FUH TP A RM ANN RKING BOU LEV ARD NYS SHO REL INE TRA IL

NYS

PASSIVE GREENSPACE & SCULPTURE PARK

BOARDWALK

UNION SHIP CANAL

Figure 19 - A concept visualization looking south towards the Administration Building. This shows the relationship between the different components of the site including: the building, its passive greenspace, interpretive sculpture park (center), multi-use trail, the water, and Fuhrmann Boulevard. (Author)

not live in Lackawanna.

Through the funding

seamlessly integrate all three of these core goals by

available through Lackawanna’s BOA, community

opening up the waterfront, improving multimodal

organizing will become extremely important

accessibility, and rebranding the face of a future

in developing the groundswell of grassroots

business and light industrial park as evident in

support this building so desperately needs. In

Figure 19.

24

this regard, it becomes increasingly important to engage a younger generation of residents who

VII. IMPLEMENTATION

know Bethlehem Steel only as it exists today as

Lackawanna officials currently working on

an industrial relic rather than one of the largest

the First Ward BOA should identify and convene

employers in the region. It is ultimately these

a group of stakeholders to focus specifically on

people who can look past the decay and see the

the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building and

opportunities in preserving and reusing buildings

surrounding grounds. Included in this group of

like this one.

stakeholders should be:

While

every

application

• Preservation Buffalo Niagara – Can help

is looked at objectively, there are funding

in the development of an adaptive reuse study of

preferences

“stimulate

the historic portion of the Administration Building.

economic development, community revitalization

PBN can also help actively seek out available public

or to site new public amenities.“

25

and private funding sources.

Administration

grounds

for

BOA

those

Building

funding

sites

and

that

A redeveloped would

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 15 • University at Buffalo – Listing the building

for the preservation of the Administration Building

on the NR as well as coming up with different

using public funds if necessary, the perceptions

designs and uses for the building and its grounds

and attitudes of local residents must be positively

could become an urban design and historic

affected. This campaign could include public

preservation studio with UB’s School of Architecture

meetings, an interactive website, informational

and Planning. UB has also just announced a Master’s

pamphlets, brochures, door hangers, etc. Buffalo

in Historic Preservation.

Crushed Stone should work in tandem with the

• Buffalo State College – Engaging students and faculty in preserving and restoring the façade of the administration building, including the elaborate copper work and masonry cartouches as part of the school’s Art Conservation program.

Lackawanna Steel Plant Museum to offer exterior tours of the Building and grounds. Tours could provide a small stream of revenue to offset some of the costs not engendered in the BOA program. Engaging the region’s younger population in the preservation and reuse of the building could be

• Buffalo Crushed Stone – As the current

accomplished through interactive tours, where

owner of the building and site, BCS should be

children would be able to see the building up close

briefed on any proposals for the site to determine

and then visualize their ideas for its reuse without

whether or not it is in their best interest to retain

the encumbrance of knowing Bethlehem Steel’s

ownership.

legacy.

• Lackawanna Steel Plant Museum – Provide guidance in creating plans and/or designs that accurately tell the story of Lackawanna, Bethlehem Steel, and the interplay between the two. Permanent space for the museum should be a component of a redeveloped Administration Building. Prior to securing the building and preparing the grounds, a local architecture and engineering

course of action and staged development plan.

Figure 20 - Interpretive signage located along Union Ship Canal helps link the present and future of the site with its industrial past. Similar signage should be installed along Fuhrmann Boulevard and within the waterfront park. (Author)

The cost for these reports should be written into

Utilizing available funding for the Shoreline

the Lackawanna BOA. Clinton Brown Architects

Trail through the State DOT, Lackawanna should

had previously consulted on the site when it was

install appropriate signage, interpretive displays,

offered to the Lackawanna Steel Plant Museum for

and historical markers as seen in Figure 20 along

their permanent home over a decade ago.

Fuhrmann Boulevard and in front of the Bethlehem

firm should be enlisted to perform a structural analysis of the building as well as develop a best

A

community

awareness

and

public

outreach campaign should be initiated by the group of stakeholders identified above. In order to break the inertia of inaction and build support

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT

Steel Administration Building. These will help emphasize the historical significance of a site as well as its interface with the economic and cultural conditions of the city as a whole.


16 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

VIII. ACTION PLAN TIMELINE

SHORT TERM OBJECTIVES (0-12 MONTHS) •

Begin tours of property

Launch public awareness campaign

Develop stakeholder group

Nominate the Administration Building for the National Register

Install interpretive signage

Properly secure property

INTERMEDIATE OBJECTIVES (2-5 YEARS) •

Streetscape improvements

Stabilization of property

Develop master plan for the redevelopment of the Administration Building and

grounds based on community input

Release RFP for redevelopment

LONG TERM OBJECTIVES (5-10 YEARS) •

Fuhrmann Boulevard Reconstruction

Complete redevelopment of building

New waterfront park open to public

Lackawanna Steel Plant Museum finds permanent home

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY 17

IX. CONCLUSION The deindustrialization of North American and European cities stands as a testament to a radical shift in the economic paradigm of the 20th century. As technology and transportation hastened the advent of globalization, sites like the Bethlehem Steel Plant became symbols of stagnation and obsolescence, as well as the ghettoization and abandonment of their surrounding inner-city neighborhoods.

Yet, by capitalizing on those

vestiges of a by-gone era, Lackawanna has the opportunity to not only highlight its importance in the development of the region, but also reinvent its waterfront and decaying Administration Building into a locus for recreation, commercial, and cultural amenities. By capitalizing on the associative value of this site, Lackawanna stands to create a unique sense of place that significantly added to the city’s material culture, when municipalities are becoming increasingly places of homogeneity.

DARREN COTTON // PD 697 FINAL PROJECT


18 HERITAGE TOURISM: ADAPTIVE REUSE IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

ENDNOTES 1 Bliek, Desmond, and Pierre Gauthier. “Mobilising Urban Heritage to Counter the Commodification of Brownfield Landscapes: Lessons from Montréal’s Lachine Canal.” Canadian Journal of Urban Research 16.1 (2007): 39-58. 2 Leary, Thomas E. and Elizabeth Sholes, Elizabeth C. 1987. From Fire to Rust. Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. 3 “The Legacy of Bethlehem Steel” The Buffalo News. June 7, 1983. 4 Leary, Thomas E. and Elizabeth Sholes 5 Malyak, Michael. “Origins of the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building.” E-mail interview. 17 Mar. 2012. 6 “The Legacy of Bethlehem Steel” The Buffalo News. 7 “The Legacy of Bethlehem Steel” The Buffalo News. 8 “City Council Meeting Minutes June 19 2006.” City of Lackawanna. 19 June 2006. <http://www.ci.lackawanna. ny.us/minutes/061906.htm>. 9 Lenihan, Emily. “Fight to Save Buildings in Steel Town.” WIVB TV. 21 Apr. 2009. <http://www.wivb.com/dpp/ news/Fight_to_save_buildings_in_steel_town_20090420>. 10 “About The Port” Port of Buffalo. Gateway Trade Center. <http://www.portofbuffalo.com>. 11 URS Corporation, and American Consulting Professional. City of Lackawanna Comprehensive Plan Addendum for the Bethlehem Redevelopment Area. Lackawanna Community Development Corporation. September 2008. 12 URS Corporation, and American Consulting Professional. City of Lackawanna Comprehensive Plan Addendum for the Bethlehem Redevelopment Area. 13 TurnKey Environment Restoration LLC, and Benchmark Environment Engineering & Science PLLC. Interim Reme dial Measures (IRM) Work Plan Railroad Realignment Phase I-III Business Park Areas Lackawanna, New York. Rep. Tecumseh Redevelopment Inc. 2009. 14 Urban Design Project. The Buffalo Corridor Management Project. Vol. 2. Buffalo Waterfront Corridor Initiative. Buffalo, 2003. 15 “Public Health Service Hospital.” National Park Service Department of the Interior. <http://www.nps.gov/prsf/ planyourvisit/public-health-service-hospital.htm>. 16 Project Update for the Public Health Service Hospital. Rep. Presidio of San Francisco, Feb. 2004. <http://library. presidio.gov/archive/documents/PHSHUpdateaccess1.pdf> 17 Gordon, Rachel. “S.F. Presidio Hospital Heads toward History.” San Francisco Chronicle 5 Dec. 2008. 18 Lifton, Zachary. “Plans for Manayunk’s Gleaming Beaux Arts Library Moving Ahead.” Hidden City Philadelphia. 26 Mar. 2012. <http://hiddencityphila.org/2012/03/plans-for-manayunks-gleaming-beaux-arts-library-moving- ahead/>. 19 Lifton, Zachary. “Plans for Manayunk’s Gleaming Beaux Arts Library Moving Ahead.” 20 “National Register Criteria for Evaluation.” National Register Bulletin. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. <http://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb15/nrb15_2.htm>. 21 City of Lackawanna Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Rep. U.S Department of Commerce and New York State Coastal Management Program, 19 June 1989. 22. Tokasz, Jay. “City to Test First Ward Properties.” The Buffalo News. 4 Apr. 2012. <http://www.buffalonews.com/ city/communities/lackawanna/article795141.ece>. 23 “BOA Program Summary.” NYS Department of State, Office of Communities & Waterfronts. New York State, 2012. <http://www.dos.ny.gov/communitieswaterfronts/brownFieldOpp/boasummary.html>. 24 25

Tielman, Tim. “Bethlehem Steel Administration Building.” E-mail interview. 22 Apr. 2012. “BOA Program Summary.” NYS Department of State, Office of Communities & Waterfronts.

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Heritage Tourism: Adaptive Reuse in a Post-Industrial City