The company was established in 1876 by Danish immigrant William. J. O. Astrup, who had settled in Cleveland 10 years prior. It began manufacturing sails for Great Lakes ships but then focused on other canvas products as sailmaking became obsolete. Awnings were gaining popularity with businesses and homeowners, so in 1883, Astrup moved to 2937 W. 25th St. and pivoted the company’s focus. Ownership of the company was passed down through the family for more than a century, with sales topping $10 million in 1956.
It became the largest manufacturer of awning hardware and distributor of awning canvas in the country. Astrup vacated the building in 2007, but it may soon become a cultural hub for the Tremont and Clark-Fulton neighborhoods. Developer Rick Foran has been planning to remake the abandoned building into an artistic version of the industrial powerhouse it once was, housing a Latino theater company, podcasting studios, art galleries, a nonprofit and more.
8:00 AM EST
August 17, 2020