Monday, August 06, 2007

Demolition everywhere you look

A lot of buildings are coming down at the moment...

Pabst Brewery

Pabst Brewery

Demolition has been ongoing at the long-shuttered Pabst Brewery since around January; this is the second major building to come down, but many smaller structures have been removed as well. This one sported a beige smokestack with "PABST" in glazed white tile; its 1950s Modern window walls were a favorite subject of mine:

Pabst Brewery, Milwaukee

Not far away, serious work has kicked in on the old Pfister-Vogel Tannery:

Pfister-Vogel Tannery

Pfister-Vogel Tannery

Most of the one-story additions and small outbuildings have been taken down:

Pfister-Vogel Tannery - outbuilding being demolished

Remediation work has been underway on the facade of the main building, with environment suit-clad workers riding a cherry picker up to the windows along Water Street. It looks like the demolition will move west to east, which would leave the most important brick facades intact until the end. The strategy seems to be to take down the lower portions in the back, which should give the taller portions in front somewhere to fall, including the towering smokestack. I'm waiting to see if a crane shows up on site to salvage the enormous roof-top water tank.

And finally, I was shocked on Friday afternoon to see that the last standing portion of the Grede Foundry was actually being knocked down:

Grede Foundry rubble

The office building has been standing, heavily frayed at the edges but essentially intact, for over a year now -- long enough that I'd almost convinced myself it was going to be saved. Why it was spared for so long is a mystery, but as of today it's entirely rubble.

Grede Foundry

I just hope someone salvaged those handsome raised aluminum letters; they were slick (especially on their polished stone background.) I'd been eyeing them myself for a long time!


Anonymous said...

I was disappointed to see the pabst power plant go down. I really liked the smoke stack and I wish it could have stayed. I feel it would have been kind of the symbol of the RENOVATION of the brewery complex. Thus far they haven't done anything but demolish!

With Pfister and Vogel I can say I'm glad its begun. That has been a horrible eyesore in downtown photos of mine for too long. I'm for preserving old buildings but not this one, you've got to pick your battles. Good news for Milwaukee as an interesting new stage begins for the city.

I noticed that with the Grede foundary. This was another kind of bland just old building. I didn't understand why they kept the offices up for so long. Hopefully the land doesn't sit vacant for too long.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that developers RUSHED into the pabst brewery development, It has only been closed 10 years since it closed. The city should have held the property frozen until a "real" plan was divised. We will all loose.

Anonymous said...

Pfister and Vogel is so nice, it should have been saved. It is sad to see it replaced by even more condos. Condo construction quality in Milwaukee is extremely poor. What an eyesore our city will soon become.

Anonymous said...

oh no no no, pfister and vogel was horrible! it was a terrible thing for the city to still have retained. i am happy to see it leave. nothing could have been done to save that place!