Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, March 27, 2005, pg. 13
If you take a drive by the old Albion Malleable Iron Company on N. Albion St., you’ll see that the huge south end finishing department building is now gone. This structure had been erected in 1951 as a 110,000 square foot facility, 440 feet long, and 240 feet wide. It was designed to handle various operations in the finishing department, including shipping, as the Malleable modernized its facilities in the post-World War II era. A big open house was held from November 13, through 17, 1951, celebrating the new building. There were no celebrations however, when demolition of this structure was completed the week of January 10, 2005 some fifty-three years later.
This was not the first building erected at that location, however. For many years it was the site of the Malleable’s office which moved to this location when it was built in 1897. In 1944, a new office building was built on the far north side of the plant, which is still standing today. The original office was demolished to make room for shipping facilities prior to the erection of the 1951 structure.
The Original Malleable Office Building
From our Historical Notebook this week we present an interesting photograph showing the original Malleable Office building. The occasion appears to be an “auto show” featuring different automobiles that had parts manufactured at the Malleable in them. They are all lined up along N. Albion St. This photo was taken at the intersection of N. Albion St. and W. Chestnut Sts. Notice on the left that the chain-link fence with barbed wire was there even then. This kept people out, or in, depending upon one’s perspective. Also in that area is a very tall flagpole just to the left of the building. In the foreground appears a railroad spur that went diagonally across W. Mulberry St. to N. Albion St. in front of the plant. These tracks were buried for many years until N. Albion St. was reconstructed about a decade ago.
The main office building exterior wall is “decorated” with ivy. In front of the main office building to the right you’ll see a long narrow building. This was the plant entrance for the workers. It was long because there were rows of time cards in holders that were lined up along the wall which the workers punched in and out with each day.
On the far right is a garage, which contained the automobiles of the Malleable executives. Later the Parker Lab building (now boarded up) was erected on the site. Notice the two Malleable delivery trucks on the far right.
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic