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Abandoned breweries


Julie passes along a link (technically, via Boing Boing) that melds two areas of fascination for me: old breweries and urban exploration. That photo above is from the former Stella Artois brewery in Belgium. Of the other featured breweries, I'm surprised to see that the former homes of such regional icons as Dixie and Iron City have fallen into such decrepitude. I would have thought some entrepreneur could make something of either of these classics.

On a similar note, I had to drive to work a couple of days this week, and in taking a detour to avoid expressway traffic I drove past the old Peter Schoenhofen Brewery, at 18th & Canal. During the late 1990s, when we still lived in the city, Julie and I made a visit to the site to check it out and take some photos. The Powerhouse Building was simply gorgeous, but the much older Administration Building was abandoned and fairly run down. Since then I see the buildings every day from my train, which passes within two blocks of the buildings, and I've always glanced at them and wondered at their fate.

So when I drove past this week, I was very pleased to see that the Administration Building has been fully renovated and is now occupied (whether commercial or residential, I couldn't tell) and the Powerhouse Building is occupied with commercial tenants as well. The site is on the fringe of the Pilsen neighborhood - Pilsen itself has become gentrified, but the Schoenhofen area seemed to mostly resist rehabilitation, being more industrial in character and on the opposite side of the expressway from the main neighborhood. But apparently the site is just close enough - not to mention having these two great buildings to work with - to finally benefit from Pilsen's revival.

January 28, 2011 in Chicago Observations | Permalink