Brand Bros. Brewery Then & Now
October 2011: Elston Avenue between Fullerton and Diversey was once an industrial area full of breweries and factories. Today most of those buildings have been replaced with big box stores and parking lots. The Virgil Brand Brewing Administration Building, a well-preserved 19th century structure (even though the rest of the complex is much altered), falls under the orange-rated category of the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, therefore the building is currently under a 90-day review before developers can demolish it. Even though Chicago was never Milwaukee, the city once had 40 breweries, with Brand producing 250,000 barrels a year in its heyday. In my opinion, it makes sense to save this historic building for re-use rather than tear it down for another nondescript building, like a condo or strip mall.
Update: Demolished May 2012.