Before and after


Via (Chicago) Sage, we read of another step in the total, and final destruction of everything 'past' to make room for everything 'future'.

Baby Factory to be leveled after 82 years:

DePaul began the demolition of the factory located at the corner of Fullerton Parkway and Racine Avenue to make way for a new parking lot for students, said Bob Janis, vice president of facility operations.

The building is commonly referred to as the “Baby Factory”; in reality it is called Ruben’s Baby Factory and was designed to accommodate a bank-note printing company. During the Great Depression, the printer went bankrupt. In 1936, the building was purchased to house Rubens & Marble, a company that manufactured quality infant’s cotton underwear. In 1912, the company was incorporated, and the name has remained the same for 92 years. Plans to tear the building down have been in effect for some time; the university surrounded the structure with scaffolding over winter break to keep falling debris from harming people and cars. The building was being used for housing DePaul furniture and demolition began Monday, Feb. 6.

I know progress is 'inevitable', but still is a shame that such a once fine building had to be destroyed for a freaking student parking lot, not even administrative offices as previously claimed by DePaul. Not that this building was a 'spectacular' architectural specimen, but it was more attractive than the cinder-block crap sure to replace it.

Baby Factory

(more photos of the destruction by (Chicago)Sage here)

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I agree, the building had some interesting details-- it would have been nice if they had made an effort to restore it. Thanks for writing about it.

In the UK we are being afflicted by the very opposite problem. It is getting very difficult to build in anything other than a pastiche vernacular style in order to fit in with old buildings. More and more buildings are being protected regardless of architectural merit simply because they are old. It all begs the question 'why can't we have a balance?' We also seem not to place enough value on early 20th century buildings - it is the Victorian era that attracts protection, and it would be very sad if such an exciting period of architecture was lost altogether.

Interesting point, Matthaios. Probably wouldn't mind as much here in Chicago if everything 'new' didn't look the same. Older buildings are much more individualistic, have variants in composition, etc., but all the new condos look like the same plans were used. Becomes tedious.

And Sage: you did all the work! :) I just supplied the old photo and some server space.

Ironically it means all our new buildings look the same too. I guess whatever you do timid design is a safer economic bet for the clients!
Also I have to agree, very nice set of photos. Capturing a demolition in photos is always worthwhile in my opinion :)

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on February 25, 2006 9:46 PM.

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