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Bill Cotter

Aerial view of Ford

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George, that is wonderful information.  Every now and then persons with great civic virtue unite to save a building that has a great story to share.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were enough people in NYC who would battle to amp talk save the 1964 NYS Pavilion?

When I was a young kid living near Syracuse, community leaders were eager to build a massive interstate highway project through and around that small city.  In the way, however, was the (at the time) 130 year old Erie Canal Weighlock Building, the only structure like it in the world.  Canal packet boats were steered into a lock type area and gates closed fore and aft leaving the flat bottomed packet sitting on enormous scales which calculated the weight of the boat.  The weight was compared to the weight of the boat which had been measured before the boat had been loaded. This allowed Canal authorities to determine the fee.

in 1962, just months before scheduled demolition, civic minded citizens raised the money to purchase and save this 19th Century technical marvel.  It was restored and, over time, the surrounding area was restored to a post Civil War look and a remarkable museum and tribute to the Erie Canal was created.  Every other Upstate NY city had demolished their weighlock buildings, but Syracuse saved theirs and it tells a fascinating story to this day.

Your information makes me hope I can someday visit the San Diego Rotunda. Thank you for all of the great history.

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