Just as the wrecking crew is preparing to tear down the old IBM Country Club complex west of Endicott, Broome County officials have secured a cornerstone from the facility.

The block marked with the year "1951" had been installed as part of a new wing to the facility on Watson Boulevard in the town of Union.

It was covered with dark heavy paper bearing the letters "IBM." Underneath the covering is a metal plaque bearing a message from Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of International Business Machines.

A cornerstone salvaged from an IBM Country Club building on October 20, 2022. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A cornerstone salvaged from an IBM Country Club building on October 20, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Demolition of the abandoned country club buildings is to begin in a few days. The job is expected to take eight to ten weeks to complete. The site is to be used for development of a 75-unit apartment complex.

County Executive Jason Garnar said a groundbreaking ceremony is planned for next spring. He said county historian Roger Luther at that time will open the sealed compartment contained within the cornerstone.

The country club was established in 1931. Its facilities were used for decades by tens of thousands of employees of IBM Endicott and nearby company operations, along with their families and guests.

A message from Thomas J. Watson Sr. appears inside a 1951 IBM Country Club cornerstone. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A message from Thomas J. Watson Sr. appears inside a 1951 IBM Country Club cornerstone. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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IBM changed the name of the venue to Heritage Country Club and Conference Center in March 1994. IBM sold the property in 2004. Efforts to redevelop the main country club complex were unsuccessful.

The developers of the new apartment project at the site plan to work with the county and the town of Union to organize a "get a brick" day for residents who would like to keep a piece of the historic Crocker Homestead that is about to be demolished.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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