news, project updates, and interesting stuff

Cylinder Works is Underway

Our project at 1765 N. Elston has begun construction.   This existing mammoth steel cylinder factory on the Chicago River was purchased by our client a few years ago, with intent of converting it to a year-round indoor market much like the great markets of Europe.  Sadly, the City of Chicago commitment to no-change in the PMD’s (Planned Manufacturing Districts) would not allow it.  Perhaps our new mayor will be more receptive (listening?).

The current adaptive re-use design salvages the historic high-bay cylinder factory and constructs a building within a building.  The end result will double the usable floor space from the existing 65,000 s.f. to 128,000 s.f. and will be utilized as an office and small manufacturing incubator.  The turn-of-the-century building has an awesome interior presence through its sheer size, along with the the riveted steel framing and trusses.  The project is taking form with the installation of windows,  the reshaping of the river front, and the construction of the new storm-water management detention pond.

Previously, the entire 133,000 s.f. site’s polluted stormwater ran directly into the Chicago River.  With our new stormwater management design, the water will now be first filtered by the native plant landscaped detention pond before entering the city’s waterway.

Centrally located near the expressway, the Elston avenue bikeway and the Clybourn Metra Station, the Cylinder factory holds a prime location for business. The site is also at the terminus point of the proposed  Bloomingdale Trail .  We hope to enhance this connection when the trail takes form.

We are excited to be part of this grand building’s rebirth.  When we walked through the building with the owner the first time nearly 5 years ago, the building was literally beginning to be demolished.  Kudos to our client (Alex Pearsall of Property Adventures) for salvaging a big-bit of Chicago’s history and extending the building’s life for another 100 years.