Monday, March 21, 2016

(Photos) Urban Decay in Chicago: The Union Bag and Paper Building

Chicago's Central Manufacturing District, which opened in 1892, is arguably the world's first planned industrial park. Hundreds of companies called CMD home and the park employed tens of thousands of Chicagoans.

Much of the CMD is crumbling or just vacant lots.

Yesterday I visited and managed to get inside to photograph the onetime Union Bag and Paper Co. Building at 3737 S. Ashland Street, which is in the the process of being demolished.

That's terra cotta surrounding the second floor windows.

Union Bag and Paper Company was founded in 1881 by the Calder Family in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 1956 it merged with the Camp Manufacturing Company to form the Union Camp Company. In 1999 International Paper purchased Union Camp.

Somewhere during that story line this building was set adrift.

Samuel Scott Joy was the building's architect--it was a built in 1915 and its razing began in its centennial year. After seeing pictures such as this one you begin to understand why Chicago's population is the lowest it's been since 1910.

High taxes and public corruption in Chicago have hastened the rot.

Let's go inside!

Entering abandoned buildings offers many risks--climbing through rubble is one of them.

As far as I can gather other than demolition there are no plants for the this site. South of the Union Bag and Paper stood the Pullman Couch factory, which burned down in a spectacular fire in 2013.

There is plenty of open space in the Central Manufacturing District.

International Paper is still a going concern--in fact it's the world's largest paper and pulp firm.

It appears that someone started to dismantle this fire escape stairwell.

In 2014 Landmarks Illinois listed the Central Manufacturing District as one of its ten most endangered sites.

Related posts:

(Photos) The abandoned Wyman-Gordon power plant in Dixmoor, Illinois

(Photos) Urban Decay in Chicago: The Damen Silos

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