Wednesday, December 30, 2009
One of our local legacies is the Ithaca Gun Factory where they made shotguns starting back in the 1880's. One hundred years later, in 1987, they moved out of the old factory and it began its decay. At one point someone realized there was a lot of lead around and tests were done. The factory sits across the street from an apartment building, and above and elementary school. One of Ithaca's natural landmarks is right below as well, and back in the day the guns were tested by shooting into the cliffs. Since people spend a fair amount of time there the EPA came in with amazing vacuum cleaners and sucked up all the soil in the cliffs and ground, replaced it with clean stuff, and called the whole thing done. Except the building itself was full of lead, asbestos, barium, etc. Remember, guns don't kill people, hazardous materials kill people. So after a few years of haggling over condos planned for the site; how tall they'd be, would the developer give the city some land for a park, who would pay for the demolition, the go ahead was given and they delayed only a few more months before getting down to work. The following pictures show the removal of the buildings, and as of the end of 2009 all that remains a large pile of debris.