The Old American Can Factory Logo

Past

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 through World War II. was used for other manufacturing uses. In the early 1950’s American Can Co. ceased operations, and the complex was 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 more than 100 spaces, large and small, 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 totaling more than 100,000 persons.