Watching the demolition of a landmark in Hamburg

Hamburg resident Daren Geschwindt shares photos of a Hamburg landmark being torn down in December. The Wrights Knitting Mill building had stood at Pine and Second streets for more than 100 years.
Hamburg resident Daren Geschwindt shares photos of a Hamburg landmark being torn down in December. The Wrights Knitting Mill building had stood at Pine and Second streets for more than 100 years. Submitted photo
A Hamburg landmark being torn down in December, the Wrights Knitting Mill building at Pine and Second streets.
A Hamburg landmark being torn down in December, the Wrights Knitting Mill building at Pine and Second streets. Submitted photo - Daren Geschwindt

A Hamburg landmark was torn down in December. The Wrights Knitting Mill building stood at the corner of Second and Pine streets for more than 100 years.

Hamburg resident Daren Geschwindt of Reading & Northern Railroad posted on Facebook on Dec. 12, “It is sad to see this Hamburg landmark being torn down. The Wrights Knitting Mill building has stood at this location for over 100 years. It was built in 1911. It’s a shame that it couldn’t be repurposed and made into apartments, or some other useful purpose.”

Geschwindt said the pictures were taken on various days during the demolition and show the progress.

Many shared on his Facebook posting memories of either having worked there at the mill themselves or knew family members who had worked there and shared feelings of sadness to see the building being torn down.

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Geschwindt shared a few thoughts about the knitting mill and its demolition.

“Growing up on south Third Street in Hamburg, the Wrights Knitting Mill was a major landmark in the area. My friends and I would ride our bikes in the alley near the mill, and one of my friends lived on Pine Street, directly across the street from the mill. Looking back now, it seems like the mill was in the background for many of our childhood adventures,” he said.

He still remembers the mill operating in the 1980s.

“I can still see the trucks at the loading dock along Pine Street, and trucks parked at the loading dock in the alley next to the UCC church (completely blocking the alley). A few neighborhood friends had parents who worked at the mill, and would walk to and from work each day. There were many summer days when we would be riding our bikes in the area, and those parents would come outside and talk to us during their lunch break.”

One of the things that Geschwindt always found interesting, and unique, was the large plaque built into the wall at the southwest corner of the building memorializing its construction by Wilson E. Schmick in 1911.

“That’s something you just don’t see anymore in modern construction. Even though the mill closed over a quarter century ago, the mill complex was one of those things that had always been there, and seemed like it always would be,” he said.

“That’s why I was saddened when I drove down Pine Street two weeks ago and found that the street was closed, and a large excavator was starting to demolish the building. Even though I was just a kid when the mill closed, it was still a prominent presence throughout my youth, and it is sad to see it disappear.”

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.