We were told that the City was going to pay for the demolition of the Mirro Building, but if you drive by, you see footings
ringing the project perimeter, plus a concrete entrance gate to the old factory! What’s going on here? I posed this question to veteran City Planning employee Paul Braun, and he promptly responded with some detailed information which I will summarize in the following paragraphs. Thanks to Paul for providing me with this information.
The short answer about the foundations is that they need to stay in place until further environmental testing can be done. They are acting as a cap to prevent contaminants from leaching into the ground.
The EPA has provided some much-needed funding to help with this testing, and once it is complete a plan will be put together to determine how to move forward. The long-term intent is to remove the footings and anything else that is one the site (except for the gate—more on this in a moment) so that it will be shovel-ready for whatever comes next, be it private development or some other use. From the beginning, this demolition project has been somewhat iterative and has been highly dependent on environmental considerations. Environmental testing and remediation can be quite costly, so there has been pauses and delays to wait for additional funding, and we have also been fortunate to receive considerable financial assistance from the EPA.
About that concrete gate. The gate is intended to be incorporated into a redevelopment project, or possibly moved to a different location. The intent is to have it as a remembrance of Mirro and of the thousands of people who worked there over a century. I supported keeping this gate when it was discussed at the City level, but I do agree that it looks a little goofy standing there like it is now. I do hope that it will become a nice memorial if it is tastefully incorporated into something else.