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
Developer Targets Asian Shopping Center In Next Battle For Washington Avenue

Developer Targets Asian Shopping Center In Next Battle For Washington Avenue

June 26, 2019  |  News

Hoa Binh Plaza at 16th Street and Washington Avenue has been a shopping and community hub for Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants for nearly 30 years. As real estate acquisition heats up west of Broad Street, a developer plans to raze the complex for new residential construction. Kimberly Haas has the news > more

Celebrating Rebellion: On The Picket Line With The Suffragettes Of Philadelphia

Celebrating Rebellion: On The Picket Line With The Suffragettes Of Philadelphia

June 24, 2019  |  Vantage

This month marks the 100th anniversary of Pennsylvania ratifying the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. With Independence Day fast approaching, Amy Cohen introduces us to the rebellious suffragettes that fought for equal rights in Philadelphia > more

Residents Sound Off To Land Bank Following Release Of New Report

Residents Sound Off To Land Bank Following Release Of New Report

June 21, 2019  |  News

The Philadelphia Land Bank draws anger and frustration with the release of its new strategic plan and performance report. Kimberly Haas has the details > more

Growing Pains Yield Gains For The Mütter Museum

Growing Pains Yield Gains For The Mütter Museum

June 20, 2019  |  News

The Mütter Museum, one to the country's premiere medical history museums, prepares for a major expansion with a $25 million capital campaign and designs by KieranTimberlake. Kimberly Haas has the news > more

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