In our nearly 100-year history, we have been built a number of projects that have ended up on the National Register of Historic Places. The Onondaga County War Memorial — now called Upstate Medical University Arena — was completed in 1951. It is a long span concrete arch structure spanning a city block, which created a large, enclosed sports stadium and theater, with 7,000 seating capacity.
The structure has been heralded as a significant example of a World War I, World War II and Aroostook War commemorative and as an early and sophisticated example of single-span thin-shell concrete roof construction. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Now home to the Syracuse Crunch AHL Hockey Team, the War Memorial is the oldest arena of its kind in New York and allowed Syracuse to book major musical acts like Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who.
Designed as a living tribute to Onondaga County Veterans, the venue includes a Memorial Hall and Veteran Exhibit Area and Honor Wall which lists over 60,000 Syracuse-area veterans. On top of the arena’s stage are the words: “In memory of our service veterans.”
To complete this project, employees from our Chicago office moved to Syracuse in 1949. They loved Syracuse so much, W.E. O’Neil opened an office there in 1955, and continued working in New York on sections of the U.S. Interstate system.