February 16, 2010

Malden Mills

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This group of buildings (as well as the one in yesterdays image) was part of the original Malden Mills Industries complex in Lawrence Massachusetts. Malden Mills Industries was the company that developer Polartec polar fleece in 1979.

A good portion of the complex was destroyed by a huge fire in December of 1995, devastating the company. As one of the biggest employers in the small struggling city of Lawrence, the fire’s impact was deeply felt.

The company’s CEO, Aaron Feurestein, used the insurance money to not only rebuild the company, but to pay his displaced employees for as long as possible. The gesture earned him a certain degree of fame.

Malden Mills recovered, but eventually fell into bankruptcy. I believe it has changed hands a couple of times since. It is now known as Polartec, Inc. and maintains a local plant adjacent to this complex, in a more modern building that replaced the one destroyed by fire.

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