The iconic and highly visible “When it Rains it Pours” Morton Salt Umbrella Girl sign painted on the roof of the Morton Salt warehouse building will be preserved as part of the new “Salt District” development. The 4.25 acre riverfront Morton Salt industrial campus will be adaptively reused by developer R2 Company. The 86-year old, Chicago-based Morton Salt Company shuttered the salt storage and packing facility in 2015.
According to Matt Garrison, R2 Managing Principal, the north side buildings, where melting salts and other bulk salts were once transported by barges and piled high using giant conveyor belts, will be converted to a wide variety of new uses. The mix could include a brewery, restaurants, offices, indoor and outdoor festivals and markets, concerts and other entertainment. R2 plans to have a water taxi stop and kayak launch on the site, connected to a new riverwalk area. (Ori, Chicago Tribune 1/5/18)
Preservation Chicago applauds both developer R2 Company and Morton Salt for their appreciation of the site’s history and for their recognition that the existing historic industrial buildings add a layer of interest, authenticity, character and quality that will make the finished redevelopment more successful. Unlike the redevelopment of the former Finkl Steel Site, where the historic buildings were demolished (Chicago 7 2015), the value of the historic buildings at Morton Salt are being appreciated and embraced.