Roxborough Sawmill Preserves An Old Industrial Aesthetic


"Steve Ebner stands in Manayunk Timber, the city's only sawmill." Photo: Emily Brooks, for NewsWorks

Steve Ebner stands in Manayunk Timber, the city’s only sawmill. | Photo: Emily Brooks, for NewsWorks

  • NewsWorks stops by the city’s sole sawmill–Steve Ebner’s Manayunk Timber at 5100 Umbria Street (actually in Roxborough). Since 1995, Ebner’s warehouse has been the scene of the prolonged reclamation of Philadelphia’s industrial history, with the timbers taken from late-19th century factories littered about. “The wood they were using back then was already 140 years old,” he explains. “It’s dry, it’s well seasoned, it goes back to beginning of our country. These buildings are our history, and once they’re down and gone, they’re done….But at least the wood is finding a new home.”
  • The two-year construction of Rodin Square began yesterday with the official groundbreaking for the 4-story, $160 million luxury apartment complex which is also set to include a parking garage, a 55,000-square foot Whole Foods, a CVS pharmacy, and 12,000-square-feet for Thomas Jefferson University. The Inquirer comments on this project’s transformative potential for the Spring Garden neighborhood, with International Financial Co. chairman Neal Rodin claiming that “the apartments will feed off the retail” while “the retail will feed off the apartments.” “It’s a metamorphosis for what once was an industrial area, home to trucking companies, tool corporations and storage businesses. Blocks and blocks were covered by Baldwin Locomotive Works, the nation’s top train-maker.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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