Johnson City Pagoda Still Stands After A Century
One of Broome County's more unusual small historic landmarks sits in the corner of a Johnson City park.
It's a pagoda constructed by Endicott Johnson shoe factory workers over 100 years ago.
The odd-looking structure is a short distance from the carousel in CFJ Park. It's just a few yards away from a Walmart store and the Gannett Central New York Production Facility.
There are no signs in the park to give curious visitors any information about the mysterious pagoda.
Broome County historian Gerald Smith said Charles F. Johnson, who developed the Endicott Johnson factories that once stood nearby, liked Japanese architecture. He said a pump house was needed at the site and Johnson had company workers build it in the shape of a pagoda.
Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Smith said the E-J employees wound up using recycled building materials, gears, fire extinguishers and other items to construct the pagoda.
Smith acknowledged the structure is probably one of the most unusual pump houses "anybody has ever seen." He said there were no other similar pagodas built at any other Endicott Johnson facilities in the region.
Smith said the workers "got inventive... and we love it."