The roof system of this building, designed by Lev Zetlin and opened in 1960, was the first of its kind in the world. Before the mid-1950's, the use of long-span cable structures was generally limited to suspension bridges. The only other significant cable roof structure preceding the Utica Memorial Auditorium was the North Carolina State Fair Livestock Judging Pavilion, completed in 1953.
The world's first high-speed, dockside container-handling cranes reduced ship turnaround time from three weeks to eighteen hours. They became the model and set the standard for future designs worldwide. In service January 7, 1959, the A-frame cranes built at Encinal Terminals in Alameda, California, were designed to move large quantities of products with less handling, less damage, and less pilferage. Under the leadership of C. Dean Ramsden, P.E., the Pacific Coast Engineering Company (PACECO Inc.) met performance specifications developed by the Matson Navigation Company.