America’s Oldest Yarn Mill: A Portrait

 

Editor’s Note: There are precious few places in America like Wilde Yarn, with a building that dates back to 1884 and machinery that clattered away from the 1930s until just a few years ago. The mill was finally dismantled this summer, another missed opportunity to preserve the legacy of Philadelphia’s once-mighty textile industry. This wasn’t the fault of the new owners, Peter Bloomfield and Scott Janzen; there is no textile museum, nor even a nascent movement to create one. Bloomfield and Janzen did the next best thing, though: they opened the doors to photographers both amateur and professional. Here then is the work of eight of them: Brendan Clinch, Steven Bley, Ethan Wallace, King Krush, Noel Relyea, Thomas Troutman, Matthew Christopher, and Jenissa Wilson. We chose just three images from each person. You can see more of their work by clicking on their names, which link to their websites. For our story on Janzen and Bloomfield’s project to convert the mill to apartments, click HERE.

Photo: King Krush

Photo: King Krush

Photo: King Krush

Photo: Noel Relyea

Photo: Noel Relyea

Photo: Noel Relyea


6 Comments


  1. great that they open there business to these photographers . sad to see the textile industry fading away from phila . a lost industry

  2. The photos are stunning. So wish I could have visited this place! Keep up the great journalism. And glad to see you hit the $20k goal!

  3. I got to walk through this building back in August. The thing that really impressed me was the floors. Walking on hardwood that had seen 120+ years of heavy industrial traffic was amazing, they felt soft under your feet. It’s a really impressive building.

  4. Matthew Christopher

    Here’s a link to a 360 degree panorama of the third floor:

    http://www.abandonedamerica.us/panoramas

  5. Thank you for these beautiful and informative photographs!

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Italian-American Heritage & Industrial Landmarks Go Under Review For Historic Designation Recommendation

Italian-American Heritage & Industrial Landmarks Go Under Review For Historic Designation Recommendation

June 17, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has this roundup of local register nominations on the agenda at the June meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

Homeowners Pay The Price When New Construction Damages Neighboring Rows

Homeowners Pay The Price When New Construction Damages Neighboring Rows

June 14, 2019  |  News

Owners of row houses are left with little recourse when demolition and new construction causes structural damage to their homes. Starr Herr-Cardillo takes a look at a growing citywide problem > more

The Origins Of The Eagles On The Market Street Bridge

The Origins Of The Eagles On The Market Street Bridge

June 13, 2019  |  Vantage

Ed Duffy rides the rails from Manhattan to Philadelphia to give us the backstory on the granite eagle sculptures that stand guard over the Schuylkill River > more

<em>Tonight Is Forever</em> Honors Stonewall Riots & Philly LGBT Activism History

Tonight Is Forever Honors Stonewall Riots & Philly LGBT Activism History

June 11, 2019  |  News

A new art installation at William Way LGBT Community Center connects local and national moments in gay liberation history. Ali Roseberry-Polier takes a look > more

New Exhibit Invites Visitors Inside The Life Of Row Houses

New Exhibit Invites Visitors Inside The Life Of Row Houses

June 6, 2019  |  News

"Rowhouse Workshop," an exhibition devoted to the culture of Philly’s most iconic residential form, opens on Friday, June 7 at Cherry Street Pier. Michael Bixler has the details > more

Introducing The

Introducing The “Mayor of Girard Avenue,” Larry Kane

June 4, 2019  |  Vantage

In Francisville, a sharp spike in real estate development has triggered displacement and a shift in demographics. But Larry Kane, a longtime resident and fixture of the neighborhood, isn't going anywhere. Richelle Kota introduces us to one of North Philly's most beloved residents > more