Demolition a Step Closer for Old WFBL Buildings

April 4, 2011 by

SYRACUSE -- More than two years after we reported plans were approved to demolish the former WFBL buildings on South Warren Street... we've learned apparently they weren't totally approved.  But now, two more layers of red tape have been peeled away, making it more likely the buildings will soon be cleared to make way for a parking lot.

As reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard today, the latest approvals comes from the City of Syracuse Planning Commission and the Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board.

The argument that the buildings at 431-33 and 435-439 South Warren Street (Google Map) have a "historic value" comes in part from the fact they were once the home of WFBL, Syracuse's first radio station. Terra cotta tiles installed in the 1940s give the impression that the two separate buildings are actually one large building.

Although the demolition plans were blocked in the early 2000s, then overturned by the New York State Supreme Court in 2007, the buildings still stand. The project has been held up as property owner Tom Quartier negotiates with city officials over the specifics of the parking lot which will replace the buildings.

The two agencies mentioned above say their approval comes with the condition that Quartier must build a wall to keep the parking lot out-of-view from South Warren Street. Cars will have to access the lot via East Onondaga Street, so as not to disrupt pedestrian flow on South Warren.

According to the newspaper, the only hurdle remaining is an approval from the Syracuse Common Council.

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