Watch this amazing video of the collapse last week of Hamilton's historic Balfour Building, owned by the Laborers' International Union of North America. Never was there a more blatant example of demolition by neglect; LIUNA promised that the facade would be preserved but "oops," the whole thing just fell down. LIUNA owns almost the entire block, and is letting it all fall to ruin. (see the Lister Block here).
Meanwhile, Terence O'Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, is making a major speech in Washington on Friday, May 9 calling for " a new plan for rebuilding and renewing America's basic infrastructure."
What hypocrisy. What a blatant example of "Do as I say, not as I do."
Block of historic buildings in Hamilton mostly owned by LIUNA
LIUNA says in its press release for its "Build America So America Works" campaign that it "will be the most intensive and sustained effort ever to redirect the nation's resources to taking care of America's basics — it roadways, bridges, dams, railways, schoolhouses and other fundamentals the country depends on every day, but which have fallen into decay, lowering quality of life and weakening our economy."
and this is the way it treats the historic buildings it actually owns.
"America needs a new vision of what is acceptable and what is possible in caring for its basic foundation," O'Sullivan said. "LIUNA aims to put forth that vision and help lead a movement to make it a reality."
"Building America is about our nation and its people," O'Sullivan said. "It is about saving lives, improving the quality of life, lifting our economy and living up to the American Dream."
Meanwhile, those who want to lift the economy and improve the quality of life in Hamilton have to spend their time fighting to preserve its history from the blockbusting predations of O'Sullivan's union.
Hamilton Spectator, May 8, 2008: The Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) has applied for a demolition permit for another building on King William Street just three doors down from the fallen Balfour building.
"But in only a generation," O'Sullivan said, "we have gone from the country that launched Apollo to a nation whose people can no longer be assured of crossing the Mississippi River safely or being safe from failing dams and levees. It's time to build America so America works."
And you might set an example by starting with your own buildings.
Image credits this page Isaac-CC