Coleman Hardware

This industrial complex that we are standing in was built because of the Canal.

These bricks are 150 years old. This was the Sherwood School Furniture Factory (built 1873). It later became Coleman Hardware in 1886. They made hardware specialties—castors, heating stoves, sash weights, and pulleys for those old double hung windows, and metal toys. They took up the entire U-shaped complex. There were 300 workers in 1910. There was a molding department, machine shop and shipping department. The Company folded during the Great Depression in 1933.

The building was later used as a fertilizer plant, furniture store and storage facility.

The building was made of local brick and limestone, which is not very strong. So, overtime the structure became run down. The 60 foot smokestack collapsed during the 1990s.

In 2008, Jim Baum bought this 21,000 square foot property and turned it into the Canal Port Community Center and divided it into commercial condominiums for non-profit organizations

Look outside to see the 7 story building that is the Gebhard Brewery. It was started by Louis Gebhard in 1866. Gebhard Beer was sold throughout the Chicago area until it was closed by Prohibition in 1920. Collectors are still finding Gebhard beer bottles along the Canal corridor.

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