Otto Engineering Razing Project Rekindles History, Brick by Brick
Ramsdell, Melissa, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Melissa Ramsdell Daily Herald Staff Writer
As construction workers tear down the 100-year-old iron forge behind the Otto Engineering Inc. building along Main Street, they're being careful not to damage any bricks.
Each brick contains a morsel of history that is unique to Carpentersville, and the entire Fox Valley. That's why owner Jack Roeser plans to preserve them.
"We love this old place," said Roeser, who has owned the building for about 20 years. "We're proud of it."
The light-colored bricks were made with clay from the banks of the Fox River in the 1800s at the Haeger family's Dundee Brick Yard. The founder, David Haeger, sent hundreds of Dundee bricks from the same clay to Chicago after fire destroyed it in 1871.
Now known as Haeger Potteries, the same family that made the bricks still operates from East Dundee.
Eventually, Roeser will recycle the bricks from the old iron forge and construct a 3-story addition onto his manufacturing plant. For now, they'll be tucked safely inside a storage shed. …