Last Days Of Chicago’s Fulton Market: Restaurants Edge Out Meatpackers

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The famed meatpacking district is quickly dying

Workers at Maloney, Cunningham & DeVic load trucks for the Fulton Market food purveyor.

Fulton Market, that sketchy old smelly neighborhood that (along with the Union Stockyards to the south) gave Chicago its big shoulders, that Near West Side meatpacking district that backed Carl Sandburg's claim to Chicago as "hog butcher for the world," that food-processing antiquity that outlasted the Stockyards themselves by 45 years, is a ghost town. That Fulton Market is dead. Or about to be.

Depending on who's talking, its end is imminent or its corpse is already cold. Either way, go there now, and you will see the last days of Fulton Market the Food Distribution Hub. What remains is an outline of a past world, a hard-edged neighborhood that surrendered its rootsy brick bona fides to incoming restaurants and design firms. What remains, from Halsted to Ogden, are false fronts of sorts, Hollywood-esque facades of authenticity. Or rather, an Epcot simulacrum of a place that existed, where immigrants sweated and livestock bloodied the white smocks of assembly-line workers.

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To read more about Fulton Market’s transportation from a meatpacking district to restaurant mecca on The Chicago Tribune, click here.