This week in local history: Abington High School grad helped build the Seagram Tower at Niagra Falls


Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@civitasmedia.com



The Seagram Tower, now Minolta Tower, at Niagra Falls, is shown shortly after its completion on June 1, 1962. Clarks Summit - Abington High School alumnus Thomas S. Bainbridge played a major part in the structure’s conception, design and building.


Abington Journal file photos

Standing in front of the Clarks Summit Fire Department’s new Cadillac Ambulance in 1961 are Henry Pedrick, president of the company and Robert Nuttall, president of the Lion’s club, which collected the money for the vehicle.


Abington Journal file photos

12-year-old Vincent Piazza displays over a tractor wheel the skin of a bear he shot on a 1966 hunting trip to Canada.


Abington Journal file photos

In this 1971 photo, Helen Eckersley, of Waverly slices a fresh-from-the-oven Yorkshire pudding, a traditional English complement to festive meals.


Abington Journal file photos

1961 – The Clarks Summit Fire Company got a new Cadillac Ambulance, purchased with funds subscribed by residents of the borough and collected under Lions club sponsorship.

1962 – If you’ve ever been to Niagra Falls and observed the Horseshoe Falls from the top of the Minolta Tower, previously Seagram Tower, you know from experience that 325 feet is a long way up. But did you know the structure was designed by a company of which an ex-Abingtonian was vice president and director at the time?

Thomas S. Bainbridge, an Abington High School alumnus, played a major part in the tower’s design and building, according to a Journal article which ran two months after the June 1, 1962 completion of the structure.

Bainbridge graduated from the University of Scranton in 1940, where he majored in accounting.

“After serving as an instructor of business at International Correspondence Schools, and as an assistant credit manager at the Globe Store, he secured a position as a cost accountant for Curtis-Wright Aeronautical Corp. in Buffalo during World War II,” reads the article.

“Transferring to Frontier Industries Inc as office manager, he was named assistant treasurer six years later. After Frontier merged with Houdaille, he assumed the post of treasurer of the merged organization. Now [in 1962] he is vice president and director of Niagra Tower Co. Ltd., the organization which planned, built and operates the tower, for Seagram Inc.”

Since then, according to skylontower.com, the tower went through several ownership and name changes. On January 15, 1993, the Minolta Tower was sold to Radomat Holdings of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and it is is currently in service as a hotel.

1966 – Vincent Piazza Jr., then 12 and a seventh grade student at Our Lady of Peace, showed off quite the hunting trophy from his trip to Canada with his father, Vincent Piazza Sr. The lad, with three shots, plugged a 400 pound bear north of ValDora in Quebec. He planned to get a rug made from the skin.

1971 – Helen Eckersly, of Waverly, shared with Journal readers some favorite recipes her family enjoyed with a meal of rolled rib roast, including the following for Yorkshire pudding.

Two eggs

One cup milk

One cup all purpose flour

One-fourth teaspoon salt

Beat eggs with milk. Stir in sifted flour and salt, and beat until well blended. Pour some pan drippings from the roast beef and-or Crisco into a nine-by-nine inch pan. Pour batter about one-half inch deep. Bake in preheated oven at 450 until puffy and golden brown, about 30 minutes. To serve, cut in individual squares and serve with roast beef and gravy.

The Seagram Tower, now Minolta Tower, at Niagra Falls, is shown shortly after its completion on June 1, 1962. Clarks Summit – Abington High School alumnus Thomas S. Bainbridge played a major part in the structure’s conception, design and building.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_ABJ-LH-722-1962.jpgThe Seagram Tower, now Minolta Tower, at Niagra Falls, is shown shortly after its completion on June 1, 1962. Clarks Summit – Abington High School alumnus Thomas S. Bainbridge played a major part in the structure’s conception, design and building. Abington Journal file photos

Standing in front of the Clarks Summit Fire Department’s new Cadillac Ambulance in 1961 are Henry Pedrick, president of the company and Robert Nuttall, president of the Lion’s club, which collected the money for the vehicle.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_ABJ-LH-722-1961.jpgStanding in front of the Clarks Summit Fire Department’s new Cadillac Ambulance in 1961 are Henry Pedrick, president of the company and Robert Nuttall, president of the Lion’s club, which collected the money for the vehicle. Abington Journal file photos

12-year-old Vincent Piazza displays over a tractor wheel the skin of a bear he shot on a 1966 hunting trip to Canada.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_ABJ-LH-722-1966.jpg12-year-old Vincent Piazza displays over a tractor wheel the skin of a bear he shot on a 1966 hunting trip to Canada. Abington Journal file photos

In this 1971 photo, Helen Eckersley, of Waverly slices a fresh-from-the-oven Yorkshire pudding, a traditional English complement to festive meals.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_ABJ-LH-722-1971.jpgIn this 1971 photo, Helen Eckersley, of Waverly slices a fresh-from-the-oven Yorkshire pudding, a traditional English complement to festive meals. Abington Journal file photos

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@civitasmedia.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

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