The Empire Stores on Water Street between Dock and Main streets was built by the Arbuckle Brothers, famed for developing techniques for preserving and mechanically packing roasted coffee beans. The initial four story section of the warehouse was completed in 1870 and a second five-story section was added in 1885. The building was largely abandoned in the 1950s and despite getting landmark status in the 1970s has defied restoration and repurposing.
There is speculation that successive developers have been stalling on redevelopment plans so the building decays beyond the point of practical restoration and can be demolished for glass towers of luxury condominiums.
Next: St. Ann's Warehouse