Ithaca’s Pyramid Sound Recording Studios, the facility that produced albums from prolific metal bands Anthrax and Overkill, might soon be the victim of a different kind of metal—that of the Clinton Street bridge, which sits right next to it.
Pyramid, which has also seen bands like Bad Religion and Testament walk through the doors, might have to be torn down due to flaws in the building that were cited in a report commissioned because of impending work by the city of Ithaca on the bridge. The report found the building has large vertical cracks running up from where it meets the ground. According to the report, any soil movement around the building’s northeast corner could cause the building to collapse. Unfortunately for Pyramid Studios, 105 E. Clinton St., that’s the corner right next to the bridge the city needs to fix.
“This building is in very poor condition,” said Ari Lavine, Ithaca’s city attorney. Lavine said he and the city are in talks with the studio’s owner and founder, Alex Perialas, to try to find a resolution. Perialas has a few options on the table. One is to knock the entire building down; another would be for Perialas to administer heavy, costly repairs to the building’s structure.
The structure actually houses two addresses: one for the studio and one for the garage attached to it. Perialas owns both. The garage is in the half of the building that’s closer to the bridge, so this opens up another option: If Perialis agrees to knock down the garage, which is in much worse shape than the studio, the latter could probably stay standing with some minor repairs. Lavine said the city is discussing with Perialas monetary compensation for whatever resolution they decide upon.
Fans of the studio have a petition online at change.org directed to the Ithaca Mayor’s Office requesting that Mayor Svante L. Myrick “do all in his power to ensure Pyramid Studio be fairly compensated for any and all lost business and possible relocation costs.” Right now, the petition has more than 600 online signatures.
While no one, not even Perialas, claims the aging building should be left as is, supporters want the city to reimburse Perialas for the costs of moving and downtime, as well as for the inconvenience of the process. The city seems to be on a similar page, since they are offering compensation. Time will tell if there’s a gap between what Perialas and his fans deem sufficient and what the city of Ithaca offers.
—Sean Philip Cotter