For almost a year now, the view from Kaplan's at 3rd & Poplar has been fascinating yet severely depressing. The former Ortlieb's brewery has loomed over this corner for a hundred years, a standing tribute to a long-gone age. The brewery closed in the 1980s, but its name has remained on the tongues on locals through the jazz club created out of a former brewery pub. For many years now, the brewery buildings have sat vacant, slowly crumbling as hope for adative reuse persisted and then diminished. Finally, last fall, owner Tower Investments began demolishing the buildings. Today, the jazz club remains, but the old brewery is all but gone.
Considering how long this demolition effort has taken, it wouldn't surprise us if it continues for another month or two. After that, we don't know exactly what will happen here. Across American Street, the former bottling plant has been converted in the an architecture office. And to the south of the disappeared brewery, a residential development is under construction, as we detailed a couple of months ago.
So what will Tower do once they have a huge blank canvas at 3rd & Poplar? We've heard rumblings about townhomes, but we've also heard about the possibility of some kind of mixed-use development. Or will the property sit for several years before it's redeveloped? Has anyone who lives in the neighborhood heard any additional scuttlebutt?
Whether you know what's coming here or not, you can't help but feel a sense of loss that these buildings are no more. They really don't make 'em like they used to, and we can say with confidence that whatever comes next won't compare to this:
Hooray for progress. </sacasm>