A plan to demolish the old Cassidy Tire building at 344 N. Canal Street and replace the nearly 120-year-old warehouse with a shiny apartment tower is ready to move forward. Developer The Habitat Company and Chicago-based architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz envision a 33-story building with 343 apartments and 124 parking spaces at the Fulton River District site, according to an email form Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd).
The Habitat Company announced its intention to purchase the property in May. Habitat president Matt Fiascone told Crain’s that the site was the “perfect point between the West Loop and the Loop” for redevelopment. The parcel sits just south of a parking lot where real estate firm Vornado is reportedly considering building an apartment tower of its own.
A casualty of the high-rise development will be the historic Cassidy Tire building, which started life in 1902 as a factory and warehouse for the Tyler & Hippach glass company. The five-story masonry structure was designed by architect Henry J. Schlacks, who is primarily known for creating a number of significant Chicago churches such as Woodlawn’s Shrine of Christ the King, Noble Square’s St. Boniface Church, and Pilsen’s St. Adalbert Parish.
In addition to being a rare surviving example of Schlacks’s industrial work, the old structure is also notable for being moved more than 200 feet from its original location in 1908. At that time, the undertaking was considered an engineering marvel and was even featured in that year’s The Engineering Record publication, according to research by Preservation Chicago.
Alderman Reilly has yet to declare his support for the proposal, which will require a zoning change to switch from commercial to residential use. Reilly will hold a public presentation with the development team to collect community feedback at the East Bank Club on Monday, December 9, at 6:00 pm.