Utica – Standing in front of a boarded up building on Lincoln Avenue, the five Utica United candidates presented their plan for more deconstruction efforts in the city.
Led by Councilman Jim Zecca, D-at-large, the candidates urged the city and the county to use the planned Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to spur more deconstruction efforts instead of simply demolishing older homes in the area.
“There’s been too many buildings in this city that’ve been demolished, just destroyed; especially our architectural heritage, we’ve lost to the wrecking ball,” he said. “With the new Habitat for Humanity Re-store opening up, this is a large piece in a building materials recover strategy that can help restore the city.”
Since deconstruction is more labor intensive, the program could also lead to more jobs, said Martinez.
“Folks in my neighborhood would rather work than have idle time,” she said.
UTICA — An effort by local historians and preservationists to encourage deconstruction rather than demolition along the North-South Arterial project might fall short.
Deconstruction is the process of taking buildings apart piece by piece and selling the material for reuse. It breaks down into two parts: the older, antique fixtures and handmade pieces such as wooden banisters; and lumber and other building materials that might be reused.
But the winning bidder of the demolition contract will decide if it wants to use any of the materials in the buildings or just tear them down, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Jim Piccola.
“It’s their prerogative,” he said. “The demolition contract does not call for deconstruction. They can take it down brick by brick if they want. They just have to meet the project deadline.”
The abandoned Roosevelt Elementary School is one of the buildings the City of Utica is looking at deconstructing, June 5, 2012 in Utica, N.Y.