NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
After one hundred years standing on the Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna installation, building A1 is being demolished.
Built in 1918, building A1 is the last original building on the installation. It was built under the command of former President Woodrow Wilson. The New Cumberland and U.S. Quartermaster Interior Storage Depot was also later known as the New Cumberland Army Depot and is currently named Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna.
While the Army Depot construction was not finished until the end of World War I, the depot was a major help in World War II. The New Cumberland Army Depot was active until 1991, when it was deactivated and assigned to DLA as the Defense Distribution Region East.
Building A1 has had many uses since its construction in 1918. First starting off as a warehouse, A1 was then used as the base’s commissary and Bay 1. After many years, A1 was renovated into office space. A1 later became base headquarters. Many offices were located in A1 as well. FDE Maintenance and Morale, Welfare and Recreation are just some of the offices that were located in A1.
Unfortunately, with how old the building is, it has fallen behind with building codes and standards. Due to this, the building’s fate was determined. And while it’s been scheduled for demolition for years, the actual demolition process has finally started.
Jonathan Tassone, supervisory construction control representative, recalled his personal history of the building.
“When I started here 10 years ago, I started in A1. It was scheduled even then to be demolished, but they kept on finding uses for the building. It’s been empty since Building 430 has been built, so the demolition date was finally set.”
After the demolition of Building A1, the installation plans to build a new bulk distribution warehouse. The new warehouse is designed with the latest energy-efficient technology. One of these features includes heated floors to reduce the cost of heating in the winter.
“The demolition of A1 is the end of one era that is going into the next,” Rob Montefour, the Site Director of DLA Installation Management Susquehanna, said. “It is the long-term goal to replace all of the WWI and WWII structures and replace them with energy-efficient warehouses.”
While it is sad to see the A1 Building demolished, its use has far outlived its purpose. With the new warehouse being built, it will be more energy-efficient and cost friendly for the installation as a whole.