Historic Structures

Pemberton Mill, Lawrence Massachusetts

Date added: December 27, 2009 Categories: Massachusetts Industrial Mill

The first building on this site, the original Pemberton Mill, was constructed by the Essex Land and Water Company beginning in January, 1853. Production of cotton goods was begun in this building in 1855 under the firm name of Pemberton Mills Incorporated, The company stopped operation in 1857 as a result of the financial panic of that year and the building was not reopened until 1859, when it resumed cotton textile production as the Pemberton Manufacturing Company. On January 10th 1860, the structure collapsed, killing 88 and injuring approximately 300 of the 670 persons inside the building at the time. The ruins of the mill were sold at auction in 1860 and a new mill was erected on the old foundation in the same year. In 1861, the Pemberton Company began production of cotton textiles, principally tickings and awning cloth, which it continued to make well into the 20th century, when the building was converted to its present use (c, 1949?) as a plumbing supply warehouse and store, owned by the Finberg Supply Company of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

The original plan remains essentially unchanged in the existing building, except for the elevators which were a later addition to the interior. The plan is rectangular, 284' long on the north/south axis by 84' wide on the east/west axis. The elevations are symmetrical, with one central tower on both the east and west elevations. The structure is six stories tall and also has a basement and an attic. The exterior walls are brick, foundations granite, interior structure slow-burning timber mill construction, sash and doors wood, and the original slate roof has been resheathed in sheet metal. The main roof is a gable, and the central towers are capped with decorative gambrel roofs.