Status: Progress Made
07/2010 Update: The eminent domain and demolition threats are gone. The whole site remains as it did at the time of its listing, with no repair or restoration work completed. The building continues on though and houses several small businesses and artists.
This 1874 mill was reputedly the finest of the three major mills in Union City. It’s 2500 laborers, in 1914, made it one of the largest places of employment in the city. Dress silks, ribbons, lining silks, ties, and velvet were all manufactured under its roof.
The site today consists of a number of brick-corbelled buildings of varying heights (one to six stories) plus a soaring square chimney and a central slate-tiled tower. The complex is connected by courtyards that are crossed by a miscellany of catwalks, bridges, walkways, underpasses, and corridors. It is currently used by artists for lofts and studios.
But the privately owned mill complex is under threat of an eminent domain taking by the City who plan to demolish it and build a high school, though no demolition date has been set. This once vital industrial neighborhood is already being surrounded by residences, parking decks, office buildings, and gas stations. A new school can only hasten over development and accelerate the streetscape’s disappearance. It is not clear why alternative sites suggested by City residents went uninvestigated. Nor whether rehabilitation of the massive factory as a high school, as was done successfully in Trenton and Paterson, was considered.
Union City, Hudson County