Monday, June 16, 2008


I Decided to wander around downtown Binghamton today and brought my camera with me. The Ross Building on the Corners of State Street and Court Street is scheduled to be demolished any day now. I thought I would go down and get some before and after pictures.

The Ross Building has stood at the corners of State and Court street for almost 12o years.
Built in 1889-90 by local banker Erastus Ross, it was designed by local architect Truman I. Lacey in the Victorian Romanesque style. Last year the building Oneil Building was demolished which was attached to eastern side of the Ross Building due to increasing structural issues.

The location and construction of the building pose some real issues. The building is actually physically attached to another building. The south wall of the building is leaning outward over an adjecent connected building. The plan was to demolish that wall by hand however the building has shifted considerably and it has been deemed unsafe for that plan. Since the building is no longer safe to be in the construction company has brought in biggest excavator I have ever seen. It was brought in on the back of 5 tractor trails from North Carolina. When fully constructed it will stand about 135' tall.

The use of this construction equipment is effecting the City in many ways. The intersection where this building sits is probably the busiest intersection in the City. It blocks both main roadways in and out of the City. Detours arent long just around the block but it is still effecting businesses. Two local businesses have been shut down until the demolition is complete. A pizza parlor and a night club. State street is where most of the bars are. Many of these places see big lunch time crowds. The street would normally be lined with cars at lunch time however the scene today was quite the opposite.

As I was walking around downtown with my camera apparently people though I must know something more than them. I say this because people kept asking me questions about the building and the demolition plans. One older guy decided to chat with me about the architecture of the building. Asking me if I thought they were going to keep any of the architectural work. He proceeded to tell me about how he had even approaced the Mayor on the subject.

As with many buildings in Binghamton the building does have some interesting architectural design to it. I think it would be awesome to have some of these pieces of concrete someplace on display. Below are a few of the details of this building.

Many of the buildings here in Binghamton have this kind of architectural work. There is one building that the facade is actually painted cast iron. Our city is full of these types of buildings most of the time going unnoticed and or unappreciated by most of the people that live here. The architecture of in this town is by far one of my favorite thing about this area.

The City does not have any real plans on what will happen with the property at this point in time once the building is demolished. Downtown Binghamton needs revitalization in a big way. I hope that something will go in there that will somehow help the Downtown area.