Phoenix Mill, Van Houten & Cianci Streets, Paterson, Passaic County, NJ
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Van Houten & Cianci Streets, Paterson, NJ
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER NJ-4
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-6).
Building/structure dates: 1813 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1827 subsequent work
Significance: The Phoenix Mill is the oldest extant structure in the Historic District of Paterson. An 1821 deed describes the original structure on the site which is similar to the existing mill in height and width but not in length. Precise measurement revealed that the walls of the eastern end are thicker than those at the west end, which suggests different dates and methods of construction. Further investigation led to the conclusion that the eastern portion, which measures forty-two by fifty feet, is the building described in the deed and that it dates from ca. 1813. The remaining portion, although externally identical to the original, was constructed some time after the deed was drawn up; probably in 1826 or 1827, shortly after the incorporation of the Phoenix Manufacturing Company under John Travers, Jr. It is possible that the early structure was designed with expansion in mind, for its western end was of frame construction, which facilitated the later addition. A structure of considerable elegance and style, the Phoenix Mill operated first as a cotton mill and, after the mid-1860s, as a silk mill. Later additions and alterations enabled the manufacture of various machinery and equipment needed in the processing of silk.
War (War Of 1812)
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
1. Photocopy of Associated Mutual Company Fire Insurance Map--1905. VIEW AND PLAN (4x5 NEGATIVE)
2. AERIAL VIEW LOOKING NORTH NORTHWEST
3. AERIAL VIEW LOOKING SOUTHEAST
4. SOUTH ELEVATION WITH SILK VAULT IN FOREGROUND
5. Detail of a loading bay on the east face of the Phoenix Mill.
6. View looking east along the lower raceway showing the south face of the 1880 addition to the mill.
7. Service entrance on the south face of the 1880 addition, showing the dated keystone.
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