three-story brick commercial building at 170-172 . halsted latest building to fall in fulton market district

the following selection of images were taken during the salvage operation at 170-172 n. halsted. we salvaged anything and everything, including old elevator equipment and a pair of steel elevator doors. our work is done there, but i will likely stick around to document the building's destruction.


the modest early 20th century three-story commercial brick building was last occupied by aaron's machinery corporation. past tenants include, but not limited to, the plasticast company (1951), the chicago glove and mitten company (1916), the savoy drug and chemical company (1921), and the mantel lamp company of america (1913).

j.t. palmatary's birdseye view map of chicago as it appeared in 1857. the recently salvaged commercial building is located on the site where a two-story residential cottage once stood (facing halsted) in 1857.

according to an 1886 sanborn insurance map, the area were the commercial building located at 220-227 n. halsted stands was occupied by several wood-framed structures facing halsted and lake street. the excavation - once demolition is completed - will no doubt reveal a city under a city.

as i was taking off my vest and hard hat, i looked back at the building, then over at greg - the foreman on the job. i told him how amazed and saddened i was over how much of the city's past has disappeared over the past 12 years... greg and i go way back. if i recall correctly, we first meet at the nortown theater when it was being pounded into the ground. all of this destruction makes me sick and tired. i want to walk away from all of this madness and never look back. 

 

on the last day of salvage, i found several boxes containing hundreds of catalogs - dating from the late 19th and early 20th century - in the basement of the building. it was rather satisfying spending all afternoon pouring through pages of archaic machinery. i cleaned, organized, and documented the massive collection of catalogs in preparation for deep storage until i find the right home for them. 

 

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