Each year the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica chooses an iconic building for its Christmas ornament. The 2015 ornament will be of the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The AUD is home to the Utica Comets and Utica College hockey as well as concerts and events throughout the year.

The AUD is certainly a landmark of the city with construction beginning in 1957 and being a model for Madison Square Garden in New York City. According to Wikipedia,

A site was found along the old Erie Canal, and groundbreaking took place April 15, 1957. The arena was constructed using the world’s first pre-stressed dual cable roof system, designed by Lev Zetlin (who would later partner with architect Philip Johnson to construct both the New York State Pavilion "Tent of Tomorrow" seen at the 1964 World’s Fair and the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, also located in Utica, NY) with "struts" between the cables. John A. Roebling’s Sons Company developed the tensioning method for the project. Zetlin's design became the predecessor to the many modern dome designs seen today, and has since influenced many other tensile structures including Madison Square Garden. Seltzer would take the most pride in constructing "The Aud", saying, “This was the first successful use of cables for a roof structure.”

"The Aud" was also one of the first stadiums to have telescopic seats. Telescopic bleachers (the bleachers pulled out from below higher levels) were common in stadiums, but Zetlin requested more comfortable seating for the arena.

 

The ornament will be available throughout the season at select locations around Utica.

Exploring the Landmarks Society's Rutger Park Mansion.

The Haunts and Legends of New York crew visited Rutger Park in preparation for a public investigation on Halloween 2015. While we were there we learned several fascinating things about the buildings.

Rutger Park Once Had Some of the World's Most Expensive Wallpaper
Rutger Park's Underground Railroad Tunnels