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The Derelict Keranis Tobacco Factory in Piraeus

Viktoriia Makeenko
Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com
Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

One of the first Greek tobacco companies was founded on 39 Atinon Street, Piraeus, near Athens, Greece. George A. Keranis founded the Keranis tobacco company in 1926 at the age of 23.

After opening the company and creating his own brand of cigarettes, George Keranis decided to take on Sophocles Flegas as a partner. They named their company Ethnos – G.A. Keranis.

Keranis was born in the small village of Evritania. After graduating from elementary school, he was immediately drawn to Athens to find work. He managed to get a job in the tobacco company Fukas, which was located in Piraeus. Because of this, he later moved there.

He proved himself to be such a hardworking and intelligent employee that he immediately drew the attention and approval of his boss.

After several years, the Keranis tobacco company had reached a certain level of success, having created its own brands and established headquarters in Piraeus. It was registered on the Athens Stock Exchange in 1939, where it stayed for the next 60 years.

The factory released the first blend cigarette to be made in Greece. They called the product Pallas, and it was more expensive than their other cigarettes. The mixture of tobacco within Pallas meant they were lighter to smoke.

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

In addition to the Pallas cigarettes, the company manufactured several other well-known brands, such as Ethnos and Aroma. The Aroma cigarettes were made from tobacco blends that were flavored, giving them a distinctive perfume. Such a unique product not only increased sales but also gained the company worldwide recognition.

In 1948, a tragedy occurred. The founder of the company passed away at the age of 45. Throughout the company’s existence, he had devoted all his time and energy to the development of his business.

His share in the company went to his wife, Eugenia Keranis. A few years later, she married her husband’s partner Sophocles Flegu, and the two of them had a daughter, Marina.

In the early 1960s, the company G.A. Keranis seized the opportunity to expand, and its production facilities grew to 28,700 square meters (308,924 square feet) in size. At this time, the number of employees reached a peak of 2,500 people.

Each shift managed to produce about 3 million cigarettes, and statistics show that the company, at that point, had become the largest Greek tobacco company.

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

After 1974, the market began to change. Greek citizens were more interested in buying foreign cigarettes than domestic ones, so the Greek tobacco industry secured contracts to produce first Kent cigarettes and then Pall Mall in the country. However, Keranis sales remained almost unchanged.

The company passed into the management of Marina Flega, who married Manolis Kiprianidis. Marina and her husband decided to sell the company, and in 1998, a brokerage firm acquired Keranis Holdings.

Unfortunately, the brokerage company ran into difficulties in 2005. In 2006, the stock exchange crashed, and the brokerage firm collapsed. Consequently, Keranis also closed in 2006, and the 145 people employed at the time were left without work.

The factory building was, until recently, in an abandoned state. In 2008, attempts were made to sell or restore it. The building was even put up for auction, but no one was interested in such an investment. At one point, there were rumors of plans to move the courthouse in Piraeus into the abandoned factory, but these rumors came to nothing.

In 2014, the company NBG Pangaea won a sale and leaseback tender for the building. For three years, the State paid 2.65 million euros a year as rent on a building they weren’t using. Finally, in 2018, the State decided to move various public services into the building, such as the Migration Policy Ministry.

Check out Vassilis Makris’s website to see his amazing projects! A big thank you to him for sharing all these photographs below.

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

 

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

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Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com

Author: Vassilis Makris | www.vassilismakris.com