The Old American Can Factory is an historic, six-building, 130,000 sq ft industrial complex in Gowanus, Brooklyn that houses a curated community of appx 300 artisans, visual/performing artists, poets/writers, filmmakers, architects/designers, publishers, non-profit organizations and others working in the creative industries.
The (OA) Can Factory was developed by and is operated by XØ Projects Inc (XØp).
The (OA) Can Factory complex was built in phases between 1884 and 1910, first by Somers Brothers Decorated Tinware Co and after being acquired in 1901, by the American Can Company. By the mid-1930’s, portions of the complex were no longer used for manufacturing cans, and remained in use by American Can Co. through World War II for other uses. In the early 1950’s American Can Co. ceased operations, and the complex was subsequently sold. Over decades that followed, few tenants occupied the complex’s 15 large spaces and the buildings fell into disrepair.
In 1983, six of the seven buildings were acquired by the current ownership, and modest improvements were made to stabilize and upgrade the buildings. In 1989, after a fire destroyed much of the rear mill building, XØp was engaged to plan and oversee its restoration. In 1991, XØp moved its studio to the complex, and in 1996, assumed exclusive leasing and management responsibilities and named the complex “The Old American Can Factory”. In 2003, XØp assumed a development and curatorial role reimagining the complex to serve the cultural and industrial communities, and redeveloped the buildings to yield ~110 spaces committed to art, design, cultural and light manufacturing tenancies. XØp continues to curate, lease and operate The (OA) Can Factory complex.
In an effort to maintain a vibrant, cultural spirit at The (OA) Can Factory, XØp also produced and presented exhibitions, performances, markets, lectures and other cultural events in and around the complex, often in collaboration with other institutions, and over the years has presented hundreds of such events to audiences totalling more than 100,000 persons.
In 2013, XØp initiated a comprehensive planning process to study the feasibility of growing The (OA) Can Factory community in both scale and scope. In 2016, XØp completed preliminary architectural and engineering plans to build more than 200,000 sq ft of new buildings while retaining all of its existing tenants and preserving the existing historic buildings which would be returned entirely to light manufacturing uses. The expanded facilities would house a basilica with multiple exhibition, performance and event spaces, topped by additional office space for non-profit organizations, publishers and designers. The majority of the new buildings would accommodate work-live units for artists, artisans and other cultural professionals, with a percentage of units dedicated for aging practitioners in addition to a minimum of 25% of the residential floor area committed for affordable housing as required by MIH zoning regulations.
The expanded complex would be known as INDUSTRIANA®GC at The (OA) Can Factory.
Additional information about The (OA) Can Factory and its future is available upon request.
For information about XØ Projects Inc, go to XOPROJECTS.COM