THREATENED: Continental Can Company Building Targeted for Demolition (Chicago 7 2021)

“Developers plans to replace a large industrial building in McKinley Park with a cold storage facility, but neighbors are concerned about potential pollution and preserving the building’s historical architecture.
“Developers with Karis Cold presented their plans at a community meeting Wednesday night. The group has applied for a special-use permit to demolish a warehouse at 3815 S. Ashland Ave. and build a nearly 100,000-square-foot cold storage facility they expect will be used to store produce, meat and other food products, attorney Robert L. Gamrath III said at the meeting.

CMD Streetwall including Continental Can Company Building, 1920, Samuel Scott Joy, 3815 S. Ashland Avenue, Central Manufacturing District – Original East District. Photo Credit: Serhii Chrucky
“If the city approves the project, the company expects to demolish the old building in May, development manager Andy Laue told neighbors. The new building could be finished by early 2024, he said.
“Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, urged developers to leave part of the old building intact and add the new facility behind its facade. He said that could help preserve the historical identity of McKinley Park, one of Chicago’s first industrial neighborhoods.
“‘We’re destroying these first-class buildings one by one, block by block, so it would be wonderful if this corporation could honor Chicago’s architecture and integrate the building’s facade and tower into these plans,’ Miller said during the meeting. ‘Another blank wall on Ashland is another blank wall, and I think it really dumbs down our city that’s known for its architecture.’

Rendering of cold storage building proposed to replace Continental Can Company Building. Rendering credit: Karis Cold
“Gamrath said company leaders considered preserving some of the old building, but they decided not to because it’s covered in graffiti, isn’t structurally sound and the size of the lot isn’t big enough to accommodate a new building and the old facade.

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