Albany businessman converts historic McCormick building into wedding and event venue

<p>The Wedding Factory opens its doors for business in the historic McCormick building in Albany, Indiana. Shaffer and his family spent 10 months updating their portion of the building with an elevator and a new heating and air conditioning system. <strong>Clayton McMahan, DN</strong></p>

The Wedding Factory opens its doors for business in the historic McCormick building in Albany, Indiana. Shaffer and his family spent 10 months updating their portion of the building with an elevator and a new heating and air conditioning system. Clayton McMahan, DN

For more than 70 years, the historic McCormick building in Albany, Indiana, served as one of the financial pillars of the community as the production site of various household products.

Now — after investments from businessman Clyde Shaffer — the building will have a new purpose as a wedding and event venue.

Schaffer created the Wedding Factory and Event Center as a complement to his family’s current Albany investments — Pete’s Bar and Grill and Family First RV and Boat Storage.

He, his wife — Sandy Shaffer, their daughter Cassandra and her husband — Aaron Irwin, initially planned on having the Wedding Factory in a barn-style venue before taking inspiration from the McCormick building.

“I’ve went by the McCormick building for 50 years,” Shaffer said in a press release June 22. “I called my daughter, and I said, ‘What do you think about The Wedding Factory?’ She could see what I saw and, 10 months later, here we are.”

The McCormick building was built in 1895 and used by McCormick Brothers Co. from 1901-1978, where the company produced various household goods and metal fixtures for cabinets.

The McCormick building tower looms over the remains of the tattered factory June 25, 2021. Before The Wedding Factory entered the space, the historic building remained mostly vacant after the McCormick Brothers Co. shut down in 1978. Clayton McMahan, DN

Although Schaffer only bought a portion of the 200,000-square-foot structure, he said he will have first rights to purchase the rest of the building in the future.

The Wedding Factory consists of two floors, with the first floor containing two 4,000-square-foot event spaces and the second floor housing a 10,000-square-foot loft area.

“We could hold three weddings a weekend if we need to, and each one would be self-contained,” Schaffer said.

The two event spaces, the McCormick Room and Tulley Room, are named after major historical figures from Albany — the McCormick brothers and John L. Tulley, inventor of the Albany runabout car from the early 1900s.

Shannon Henry, Delaware County commissioner and Albany town official, said he is excited to see a historic part of Albany used to benefit the town again.

In the June 22 press release, Henry said, “The McCormick Factory building was a huge part of Albany for generations, and it’s great to see The Wedding Factory reuse part of this historical structure.”

Contact Clayton McMahan with comments at cdmcmahan@bsu.edu or on Twitter @ClaytonMcMahan_.

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