After standing in Jamestown earlier this year to launch push to get feds to help clean up the old Crawford Furniture Factory, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has heeded his calls and is officially beginning clean up the hazardous site.
After a dangerous fire late last year, that potentially put public health at risk for the community, Schumer came to Jamestown to launch his push for feds to help take financial burden off local taxpayers and help remove hazardous materials at the site and demolish the eyesore so it could potentially become a site for new opportunity. The senator said that following his continued advocacy the EPA is now beginning demolition of the former manufacturing facility at the Allen Street Development Site – knocking down, cleaning up damaged buildings and disposing of toxic asbestos from the deteriorating facility.
“The old Crawford Furniture Factory was once a beating heart for Jamestown’s economy, but for too long, this crumbling building sat as an eyesore, and as last year’s fire showed, its continued presence would only put our public health and environment at risk. That is why I personally came to Jamestown to push the EPA to demolish this dangerous site, and why I am proud to announce that cleanup begins today for Jamestown” said Schumer. “This federal cleanup is a win-win-win: knocking down the crumbling walls which were devastated by the fire, removing toxic contaminants like asbestos from our community, all while taking the burden off our local taxpayers in Jamestown. The EPA has been a tremendous partner and I thank them for their dedicated work to knock down this deteriorating building so that it can be transformed into a place of new opportunity. It is critical to return these marred sites of the past into productive workplaces that will shape the economic future, and I will continue to fight to deliver the resources needed to breathe new life into Jamestown’s manufacturing legacy for the next generation.”
Schumer explained the importance of the EPA’s presence at the site, which will help clean up the toxic debris swiftly without burdening the local taxpayers. The necessary cleanup at the Allen Street site was projected to be a significant financial burden to the City of Jamestown, and beyond their current resources, making it imperative to secure EPA aid to help clean up this site and protect neighboring businesses and homes. Schumer first visited the site this past January and outlined his plan, which called for the EPA to bolster their presence at the site and coordinate with Jamestown to bring all resources to bare to ensure the continued safety of the community, now demolition is finally beginning. With EPA involvement, clean up can finally proceed knocking down damaged buildings, disposing asbestos and asbestos-containing debris, and decontaminating materials from the site that can be set aside for recycling.
The former Crawford Furniture Factory property located at 1061 Allen Street in Jamestown was once part of the areas rich historical legacy as the “Furniture Capital of the World.” Historical records indicate the site had been developed and used for industrial uses since 1883, and based on the age and industrial processes uses at the building it was possible asbestos and other chemicals were present at the site. The current owner had abandoned the facility, and according Jamestown, the property has been tax delinquent since 2018. In November of 2022, the building went up in flames, risking the releases of possibly hazardous substances posing a potential threat to public health and safety. The local fire department extinguished the fire, but it had destroyed the majority of the facility as fire crews worked to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring businesses.
While Jamestown followed every precaution necessary to mitigate any potential threat after the fire, EPA attention was necessary as they pursued efforts to clean up the site. Schumer said that the cleanup of these legacy industrial sites is especially important to maximize the economic and environmental recovery of our most vulnerable communities like those in Western New York.