|Original smokestack for the American|
Can Company. [Pat Hathaway]
|Satellite view of the American Can company complex showing all four structures, 2011. [Google Maps]|
|Buffer stop at the end of the old freight spur. [Google StreetView]|
The American Can Company presence in Pacific Grove survived until 1954, after struggling for years from the sardine market crash. The company itself lived on but slowly shifted its focus to financial ventures, merging with PennCorp in 1982 to become Primerica, Inc., a publicly-traded insurance and financial services company.
The vacant factory was purchased around 1957 by National Automotive Fibers, Inc. (NAFI), which manufactured upholstery for automobiles. NAFI had lost its main Monterey-area factory on November 27, 1956, in a disastrous fire that demolished the former San Carlos Cannery, where NAFI had been based. Its relocation to the recently-abandoned American Can Company facility allowed the company to remain in the region for another three decades. In 1962, the company was renamed Chris-Craft Industries, Inc., although it retained its former name as a subsidiary. The railroad continued to service this new company as it had the previous tenant, shipping finished goods out to the mainline track at Castroville. In the late 1970s, Chris-Craft vacated the facility, although it survived elsewhere until 2001 when it was sold to News Corp as a television subsidiary, the company's other ventures all having been sold off or abandoned. The large factory in Pacific Grove thereafter became the single massive Ardan department store.
|The modern American Tin Cannery complex in the old American Can Company buildings, 2011. [Google StreetView]|
Street Address, Geo-Coordinates & Current Status:
125 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA
The entirety of the former can company is now the site of the American Tin Cannery retail, shopping, and entertainment center and is open to the public. Images of the can company as well as historical plaques can be found throughout the complex, while some of the original architecture remains in place beside modern commercial retail spaces. The ocean-side curb area on the southeast side of the structure marks the former site of the railroad spur that serviced the company. The former freight-loading platform now serves as an extended boardwalk running along Ocean View Blvd. The northwestern oceanside of the structure supported a freight spur, the buffer stop for which remains in place near the convergence of the two parts of the structure. The freight-loading curb continues as concrete to the end of the building, with the wooden bumper painted but still in place along the sidewall.
Citations & Credits:
- Architectural Resources Group and Architects, Planners & Conservators, Inc. "299 Cannery Row" and "300 Cannery Row". Primary Record. State of California – The Resources Agency. Department of Parks and Recreation. In Final Cannery Row Cultural Resources Survey Report Document, Monterey, CA, 2001.
- City of Pacific Grove. "Historic Context (1927 – 1945)". Historic Context Statement – Final.
- Howe, Kevin. "Factory outlet may get makeover". Monterey Herald, April 7, 2008.