Bethlehem City Council has approved Artsquest’s plans to demolish the Banana Factory and replace it with a new cultural arts center.
Their decision overruled the recommendation of the Historic Preservation Commission, which last month voted 3-2 to deny the Bethlehem-based nonprofit’s plans.
Historic board members who voted against the project said they didn’t want to see the existing building demolished. He said he supports the mission.
“Sometimes property has to be demolished, and I think this is one of those times,” said council vice-president Grace Crumpsey-Smith.
The vote was 5 to 2, with Councilors Michael Colon, Grace Crampsie Smith, Hillary Kwiatek, Grace Van Wirt, and Kiera Wilhem in favor of ArtsQuest and Rachel Leon and Wandalyn Enix against.
Artsquest was the first to receive approval to convert the banana factory in 2018, originally planning to preserve two of the factory’s six buildings. But with construction costs rising, it is no longer economically viable for Artsquest to maintain these buildings, said CEO Kassie Hilgert.
Demolishing the entire building would save Arts Quest about $4 million.
This story will be updated.
Bethlehem City Council approves demolition of banana factory, nullifies historic commission – The Morning Call
Source link Bethlehem City Council approves demolition of banana factory, nullifies historic commission – The Morning Call