In 1971, General Motors Corporation purchased the Farrel-Birmingham facility with the intent of further expanding the capabilities of their Tonawanda engine plant. By the summer of 2001, expansion plans were put into action but required the demolition of Plant 5 along with the remaining structures located at 344 Vulcan Street. Demolition began in July, 2001 with the exhausting work of removing all of the asbestos siding that covered Plant 5. The interior steel skeleton that framed the building was, for the most part, removed. The offices were razed. The entire demolition process took four months to complete.
|This map shows the General Motors Tonawanda Engine Facility along with the original property owned by Farrel-Birmingham. The GM expansion project can be clearly envisioned upon close inspection of the details shown. The RED marker indicates the GM Tonawanda Engine Facility's main offices and assembly plant. The GREEN marker indicated Farrel-Birmingham's Plant 5, and the BLUE marker indicates Farrel-Birmingham's original 1917 facilities at 344 Vulcan Street. It is this building that burned in the 1986 fire. The small buildings that were also situated at 344 Vulcan Street can be seen in front of the main structure.
By August of 2002, construction of General Motors' new facility was almost 90% complete. By April of 2003, the plant will begin the manufacturing of new engines and by the end of 2003, will be operating at full capacity. General Motors expects to have 600 employees working at the new facility.
To see a presentation of the demolition process along with the construction of the new General Motors facility, use the link below.