brach’s candy factor

Chicago: Reimagining what remains (part two)

In yesterday’s post I talked about the Uptown Theater project in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, and how that stood as a symbol of the neighborhood’s illustrious past and current challenges (as well as future potential).

It’s amazing to me that such a grand building would sit empty – or that it was ever a candidate for demolition.

I feel the same about a building I’ve just discovered in the last few months. I’m finishing my coursework at my new college in the western suburbs, and I take the Metra West Line train every day to get to campus.

And as I’d come back into the city, I was mesmerized by a building I’d see from the train. It was clearly a building no longer in use, covered in graffiti and with most of its windows gone. But the shell of the building looked magnificent.

I was convinced it had been an old high school, until one day I saw the lettering near the top of the building: Brach’s. The building was, until a decade or so ago, the North American factory for Brach’s candy. (more…)