The American Can Building dates back to 1889. Beginning in 1902, it was a canning factory that churned out billions of tin cans for Hormel foods, Swift & Co., Armour & Co. for well-known brands like Spam, Green Giant vegetables, Swift meats, Fischer nuts, Hershey’s chocolate, and Rayette hairspray.
In the late 20th century, the food packaging industry found new ways to package food. This downward spiral in canning caused the last owner of the building, the Silgan Container Company, to shutter its St. Paul operations in 2007.
St. Paul city officials considered demolishing the vacant industrial structure. But in 2013, a California development company that repurposes old industrial buildings bought the former canning factory. The company, Orten, invested millions in renovating the building before seeking new tenants.
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