WIN: Central Camera Owner Vows to Rebuild After Arson

Extraordinary Interview with Central Camera Owner During Arson Fire. Credit: CBS 2 Chicago

The Loop’s iconic Central Camera went up in flames during Saturday night’s unrest, but the third-generation owner is vowing to rebuild “and make it just as good or better.”

The camera shop, founded in 1899 and at its current location at 230 S. Wabash Ave. since 1929, was among numerous downtown businesses that sustained major damage as violence erupted amid unrest in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Windows were smashed, goods stolen and buildings set ablaze.

Owner Don Flesch, whose grandfather started Central Camera, expressed no anger at the demonstrators even as he watched his shop’s neon sign shrouded in smoke.

“It’s what’s going on, it’s reality, so you deal with it. It’s that simple,” Flesch, 72, said during an interview with CBS 2 Saturday night. (Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune, 5/31/20)

Link to Central Camera Company Rebuild GoFundMe Campaign

Additional Reading

Central Camera, iconic Loop business for 121 years, vows to rebuild as building burns during unrest over George Floyd death, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune, 5/31/20

Owner Vows To Rebuild After Central Camera Fire, Charlie De Mar, CBS 2 Chicago, 5/31/20

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