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Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Morning After

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A piece of Columbus history burned down last night. Swift Denim closed down this manufacturing plant in and sold the building in 2006 when they moved to a new and improved plant. The building has been empty since closing although there were plans to repurpose the structure. There were no reports of injuries or damage to surrounding buildings. 
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The sidewalk was the police line and we were not able to get any closer. And I forgot the BIG lens at home. This Daily blogger was interviewed by the local TV station and may be on the local news tonight. 
However, I forgot to mention the name of my blog...duh. My only defense is related to the time change. It threw me off.  Here is a link to a shot of this section of the building taken a year ago.
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A short history of the mill (from the Ledger article reference below). 
Organized in 1883 by William A. Swift and G. Mote Williams, the mill was the first large steam-driven textile plant in the city. Over time it developed into an even larger complex as Swift Manufacturing made major additions in 1896, 1918 and 1925-1928, according to research by historian John Lupold. The mill built new warehouses and continued to update its facilities through the 1970s.
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After local investors sold the mill in 1962, it operated under series of different owners. Over the years it repeatedly shifted its product lines, producing bed spreads, open mesh, automobile seat covers and industrial fabrics.
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More recently the mill produced denim yarn, part of a process by which Swift furnished material to blue jeans makers such as J.C. Penney and Levis.
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Swift Denim closed its operations in 2006 and sold the building to a company in North Carolina. The mill, which had nearly 80,000 square feet, previously was damaged by fires in June 2008 and in March 2009.
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Columbus Council last year rezoned the area from light-manufacturing industrial to an Uptown zoning district. A $50 million development slated to be completed in four phases over the next decade had been in the works.
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6 comments:

Lowell said...

This is one impressive post...the photos are quite graphic and extensive, and I enjoyed your commentary very much.

It's all rather sad, though. That building really was historically significant. But if it had had two fires previously, that might have been an indication that something was wrong.

cieldequimper said...

It was a good looking building and a landmark. I'm glad no one was hurt though.

Rachel said...

Awww, man! That is sad! That was a cool looking building. I like all of the shots that you got of it, a great way to tell the story. And it was neat that you had a shot of it in your archives. I love it when you can tie things together like that! You are a documentarian too!

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

I viewed the original post... what an attractive red brick building... sadly destroyed... you've done a superb job of documenting the aftermath.

La Principessa Errante said...

Always so sad to see old ones like that go down. Great reporting, and shots on your part though

Jack said...

You were right there as history was being made. It is a sad event, but you have a good photographic record for posterity (I almost wrote "posterior").