Sports complex planned at former Tyler RefrigerationPublished 7:25pm Sunday, November 25, 2012
Niles City Council at 6 p.m. Monday considers approving a professional services agreement with Wightman and Associates Inc. of Benton Harbor for $35,930 design and construction services for a sports complex on the former Tyler Refrigeration site along Lake Street.
As proposed, it would accommodate baseball, soccer and softball for youth and adult leagues.
Tyler Refrigeration, Niles’ largest manufacturer, closed in May 2009 at the cost of more than 400 jobs.
The plant has been demolished since October, when the Daily Star began attempting to get comment from Carrier Corp. about its plans for the property.
Tyler Refrigeration came to Niles in the 1930s.
In 1937, Tyler Sales Fixture Co. of Muskegon Heights purchased the Dry-Kold Co.
Dry-Kold made homeowner and commercial iceboxes.
After acquiring the Niles facility and relocating here, Tyler Co. changed its name to Tyler Fixture Co.
A Chicago hotel fire claimed the life of airport namesake and founder Jerry Tyler and his immediate family.
Robert Tyler Sr. was president of the company, which soon became a leader in production of commercial refrigeration units. Later, it woud be renamed Tyler Refrigeration.
As the company grew in size, like many Niles industries, it offered social and recreational activities as well as a steady paycheck.
Sports teams and musical groups developed from employee friendships and company support as a result of its commitment to community involvement.
Tyler pioneered assembly-line methods of manufacturing in the commercial refrigeration industry.
Tyler also produced walk-in cooler rooms and introduced self-service frozen and refrigerated food display cases for retail stores.