by Michael R. Allen
This morning, a huge blaze destroyed the oldest building remaining at the historic Nixdorff-Krein Company factory located at the southwest corner of 9th and Howard Streets just north of downtown. The destroyed building was slated to be demolished as part of construction of the new Mississippi River Bridge project. The building dates to the 1880s and was one of the remaining mill method buildings of the north riverfront industrial corridor.
Founded in the 1850s, he Nixdorff-Krein Company once manufactured wagon parts and chain. Many companies on Howard Street west of Broadway were involved in wagon manufacturing in the 19th century. Later, the company switched to basketball and sports gear and continues to exist. A subsidiary of the company still owned the vacant buildings on Howard Street.
The 1903 Sanborn fire insurance map below shows the building (top right corner) that was destroyed today. Nixdorff-Krein added additional buildings throughout the 20th Century, and eventually expanded south by closing Mullanphy Street and connecting to the old Joseph Wangler Boiler and Sheet Metal Works.