Banana Factory: Round 2 (6)

(6th in a series of posts on Banana Factory Expansion)

Nicole Radzievich, “Here are the newest plans for the Banana Factory expansion.” December 18, 2018.

Gadfly is aware of much interest in plans for the Banana Factory.

ArtsQuest came the second time to the Historic Conservation Commission last Monday December 17. The meeting sounded quite positive to Gadfly. Still a bit uncertain seemed the question of demolition of the house that is part of the site and some concerns about the plaza.

Here are a few bullets from Nicole’s above article:

  • preserved: the one-story gallery on W. 3rd St.
  • demolition: 1950s warehouse expansion in disrepair; non-historic garage, 19thc. home
  • smaller scale than last time
  • more of an industrial feel than last time
  • demolition of the house at issue: lost historical character, too much to renovate and move
  • need more info on plazas
  • possible return in January, possible break ground in 2020

The new complex will be called the South Bethlehem Cultural Arts Center. The question of retaining the “Banana Factory” name was raised but Gadfly couldn’t catch the answer. He did hear that the Fowler name will still be visible.

Gadfly video’d the meeting, but since Historical officer Jeff Long was the only one using a microphone consistently, Gadfly is only including here his opening 20-minute presentation, which concerned the new plan ArtsQuest brought and should answer some of your questions about the nature of the current plan. You will probably still have to strain to hear.

HCC Banana Factory 12/17/18 part 1

HCC Banana Factory 12/17/18 part 2

Gadfly invites comments by those better versed in things architectural than he and better attuned to possible historical district liabilities.

Here are my photos of the handout ArtsQuest brought.









One thought on “Banana Factory: Round 2 (6)

  1. By expanding the new facility’s footprint the profile of the new building appears to have been lowered dramatically. This was a major concern of mine at the first meeting at which ArtsQuest appeared in September. At over 70′ tall I felt the initial proposal would obstruct the historic vista from the Wyandotte/West 3rd Street area, including the blast furnaces at SteelStacks. I’d still like to see a virtual representation with the second proposal so the HCC and community determine what if any interference the lower profile would present, but I think the second configuration is a big improvement.

    I’m still concerned about any need by ArtsQuest to provide onsite parking given the close proximity of both the Riverport and New Street parking garages.

    I understand the need to have an area for drop-off and pick-up, but don’t believe demolition should take place for anything more than that when it comes to parking.

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