E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works/The Murray Company
Also Called : Murrays Mill
National Register listed : 1979
Location: 1200 Foster Street, Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA 30318
Original Builders: E. Van Winkle
Years of original construction: Early 1880s-1930
Period of Significance : The period 1889-1912 represents the period during which the building was occupied by its primary historic industry: The E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works
Significant Dates : 1880s - Construction of Building:
Boundary Justification: 11.3 acre site is bounded by a junction of north-south and east-west railroads; main lines swept past the complex along its south side and around to the west.
Description of Architectural Classification : utilitarian industrial
This black and white etching appears to be c. 1910 -1915 indicated by the Model T's (first manufactured by Henry Ford in 1908 ). This view is from the Southeast and the artist could have sat on the roof of the White Provision Company to begin the sketch of this scene.
Classical Materials: foundation: stone, concrete; walls: brick; roof: asphalt
Historic Functions: INDUSTRY:utilitarian industrial
Current Functions: COMMERCE:small business DOMESTIC: multiple dwelling
For More Information Call 404-351-6686 and 404.352.1491
Known locally as "Murrays Mill" this sprawling complex of buildings on 11.3 acres has a distinctly European flavor with internal streets scaled for the horse and buggy and handsome brickwork. Most of the buildings are constructed of brick load bearing walls with heavy timber interior structures supporting wood plank floors and various roofing systems. Cast iron columns can be found on the ground floor of several of the buildings and building heights range from one to three stories.
Beside demolition, the roof is the most defining factor in the survival of old buildings. Unfortunately, some of the relatively delicate heavy timber roof systems at Murrays Mill require constant and vigilant maintenance. For about the last 20 years some of the buildings have been slowly slipping into picturesque decomposition.
ABOVE: This photo was is taken in 1999 of the same southeast walls as the c.1910-1915 aerial etching. The old main administrative office building (Building # 10 in description towards bottom of page) is seen in the foreground.
Scenes in the first part of the movie "Kalifornia" starring Brad Pitt and X-Filer David Duchovny were filmed at Murray Mill in an open environment towards the west part of the acreage. The water tower makes multiple appearances in the camera work.
ABOVE: This 2nd color photo is the North and East elevations of the old administrative office building in 1999. Recently collapsing beams kicked outward causing damage to the front facade. Fortunately many parts of this complex have working roofs and 30-40 full time tenants and working establishments keep the buildings fairly leak free. The Fulton County Jail mentioned at the end of Howell Station Historic District can be seen misty in the distance.
The Builders and Inhabitants
1889-1912 -Van Winkle Gin and Machinery Co.
The Murray Mill Complex was built by E. Van Winkle and proudly opened as the E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works. A stone plague set into the brickwork above a drive through a central archway announces 1889 as the official first year of operation, following a European and American tradition of dating buildings for future generations.
From Atlanta and Environs by Franklin M. Garrett pg. 849 Vol. I in reference to Atlanta's post Civil War growth:
A major factor in the growth of Atlanta as an industrial center has been the high caliber of citizens the city has attracted from other parts of the country. One such citizen, who arrived in the spring of 1870, was Edward Van Winkle (1841-1923), a native of Paterson, New Jersey, and a son of a successful builder of cotton machinery. During a visit to the south, Mr. Van Winkle noted that this section was a promising field for mechanical skill and decided to settle in Atlanta. He soon set up shop in a small wooden shed on the Western & Atlantic R.R., near foundry street, and aside from general foundry work, began to manufacture a power cotton press of his own patent. Success attended his efforts and, in 1880 W.W. Boyd became a full partner in the firm, then known as E. Van Winkle & Co., located at Marietta and Magnolia streets. In 1884 branch works were established in Dallas, Texas. A full line of cotton gins and cotton oil machines was featured, and continued growth necessitated another change of location during the 1890's. This time a commodious brick plant was erected three miles out at the juncture of the Western and Atlantic R.R., and Seaboard & Southern R.R.--the present location of the Murray Company, successor to the Van Wrinkle Gin and Machine works. At the turn of the century officers of the Van Wrinkle enterprise, besides the founder, were Edward P. McBurney, vice-president and Mell R. Wilkinson, secretary treasurer. Edward Van Winkle was married in 1864, to Miss Amelia King, of San Francisco, California. The imposing red brick home, in which he died in 1923, stood for many years at the northwest corner of West Peachtree and Third streets. Edward Van Winkle, widely known Atlanta contractor, is a grandson.
From Peachtree Street, Atlanta by William Bailey Willford pg.100 in reference to the owners family's' private existence:
Midway in the same block a two-story house with classic proportions and stately columns was constructed of cream colored brick for Edgar Poe McBurney (Pg. 157 of the same book says this location is 1300 Peachtree Street, the present day location of the High Museum). The owner was president of the Empire Cotton Mills(?) and was prominently identified with other business and civic undertakings. Although old Atlantians mentioned with pursed lips that his father had been a "Yankee informer" while living in Macon during the Civil War, the son was highly regarded. Beautiful gardens were designed at the Peachtree Street house under the skillful direction of the second Mrs. McBurney, and soon "Villa Nelili" was one of the showplaces of Atlanta. On the property to the south of the McBurney residence Mell R. Wilkinson built a spacious two-story house of stone and brick. Of no great architectural distinction, it was nonetheless an imposing addition to the Peachtree scene. Mr. Wilkinson had for some years been associated with his father-in-law, Edward K. Van Winkle, in the Van Winkle Gin and Machinery Company. He chose the site of his new home because of his close friendship with Edgar Poe McBurney, whom he had come to know while both were Bell House boys. Mrs. Wilkinson and the queenly second wife of Mr. McBurney were both natives of Paterson, New Jersey.
1912-Mid 1960's -Murray Company
Mid-1960's -1972 -Trust Company of Georgia .
1972-PRESENT - Robert Haywood & 30-40 tenants
E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works was accepted by the National Register as a Historic Place in 1979.
-The Following is taken from the National Register Nomination Records-
Developmental history / historic context
The E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works (the Murray Company) complex is significant, historically, as one of the largest industrial complexes in Atlanta and the South both at the time of its' construction in the late nineteenth century and remaining from that era today. It is significant in architecture, landscape architecture and engineering as a well-integrated complex reflecting the use of details to highlight the conservative, utilitarian construction of the factory that shows, through its growth, the technological advancements of the era.
This complex first opened in 1889 and was Edward Van Winkle's (1841-1923) third Atlanta location. Van Winkle, the New Jersey-born son of a successful cotton-machinery builder, came to Atlanta in 1870 at the age of 29, where he formed a company that filled a gap in the cotton industry. This complex reflects his success after two decades. The site which was serviced by three separate rail lines and at its peak contained over 15 buildings, remains one of the largest cotton-related industrial complexes in the South.
Shole's Georgia State Gazetteer for 1879-1880 lists fewer than ten cotton gin manufacturers. These were in the major cotton-belt cities of Atlanta, Augusta and Macon, as well as in smaller towns, Fort Valley, Newnan and Smyrna. Van Winkle was listed in the directory under "machine shops" along with firms specializing in cast-iron products. In the 1879-1880 edition, he advertised:
Manufacturer of Cotton Presses and Gins, cotton gin cleaners & feeders. Circular saw mills, sugar mills. Iron fencing, and all kinds of shafting. Mill gearing, and light and heavy castings.
He soon specialized solely in cotton-related machinery, for in 1898, he advertised:
... Manufacturers of Modern Ginning Outfits. Complete Pneumatic System for Handling Cotton From Wagon to Bale. Cotton Seed Oil Machinery, Local Oil Mills and Ginneries Combined.
In a 1903 advertisement, Van Winkle listed the many awards his firm had won during the 1880s:
1881--- "Best Cotton Gin" at the International Cotton Exposition held in Atlanta.
1885--- "Best Cotton Gin Feeder" at the Texas State Fair held in Dallas.
1886--- "Clarke Seed and Cotton Cleaner," "Best Cotton Gin" and "Best Cotton Gin Condenser," all three awarded at the Texas State Fair held in Dallas.
These awards indicate the national stature of the Van Winkle Company.
At this time, Van Winkle was one of only three cotton-gin manufacturers in Atlanta and the only cotton-seed-oil mill producer in the state. This latter industry, where a product was salvaged from the cotton seed, long a forgotten resource, was a late one for the cotton industry, since farmers had long wasted the cotton seed.
Between 1870 and 1890, the first two decades of Van Winkle's Georgia factory, cotton manufacturing in Georgia quintupled. Georgia, like the rest of the "New South," was becoming more receptive to industrial growth, allowing Northerners to move in and establish large factories. This was in direct contrast to the ante-bellum isolationism that led to the Civil War. It was these Northern industrialists, like Van Winkle, who, with their insight and ability, led the way for the South to reach an industrial level heretofore unknown.
Van Winkle selected this location, as the third and final site for his factory, due to its remoteness from the city and its proximity to several rail lines. He always kept his office "downtown." At the peak of his business career, Van Winkle flourished at this location within the great variety of buildings which can still be seen. The growth of the complex is reflected in the additions and changes to the buildings which range from warehouses to foundry buildings. Van Winkle had a branch office in Dallas, Texas, as early as 1884.
Around 1912, the Murray Company of Texas bought Van Winkle out and the name of the plant was changed.
At his death in 1923, over a decade after he sold the factory, the Atlanta Journal said of him:
[He] had an important effect upon the development of the cotton manufacturing industry in the South. [Upon his arrival in the South] practically all of the cotton raised in the South was shipped elsewhere to be manufactured. . . [The establishment of his factory in Atlanta] gave a powerful impetus to the development of the cotton manufacturing industry throughout the section. [He] was awarded many gold medals and other prizes at various expositions for the mill machinery he had invented.
During World War II, the plant was used to produce ammunition and mortars for the war effort. In the mid-1950s, the site was sold to David C. Black after whose death in 1966 the site was held in trust by the Trust Company of Georgia, until 1972, when it was purchased by Robert S. Haywood, the present owner.
Presently, a number of activities take place here. Southeastern Metal Products manufactures boat trailers, operates a sheet-metal shop and continues the site's connection with the cotton industry by selling cotton-gin parts and machinery. Other buildings are leased to firms that include: glass blowers, stained-glass creators, makers of cypress table tops, a novelty T-shirt firm, a lumberyard, an automobile-repair shop and a company producing hardened steel. The continuity of activity at this location has prevented its disuse, decay, and demolition, fates that have befallen many similar industrial complexes.
In terms of architecture, landscape architecture and engineering, the E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works (the Murray Company) is significant as a well-planned and carefully designed late-nineteen-century industrial complex.
Especially noteworthy is the way in which conventions of architecture, engineering and landscaping are integrated in the overall plan and design of the complex. The complex is eminently industrial in character, the result of late-nineteenth-century engineering principles applied to problems of design and construction. Yet the cross-axial layout and the hierarchical arrangement of the buildings reflect period Beaux-Arts principles of composition. The buildings themselves, for the most part, featuring load-bearing-masonry exterior walls and "slow-burning" plank-and-timber interiors, are rather simple and straightforward (even conservative) works of late-nineteenth-century engineering. They are highlighted, however, by subtle details that reveal attention to aesthetics as well as utility; these details include corbelled and dentilled cornices and parapets, articulated segmental arches over windows and doorways, and accentuated brick bonding patterns. In some structures, like the Locker Room, new building technology is taken advantage of, but even here the reinforced poured-concrete walls are detailed to be attractive as well as durable. On the other hand, the office building, with its Sullivanesque design and diagonal orientation, is clearly set off from the other manufacturing buildings in terms of form as well as function, yet it is related to them in terms of materials, scale, and massing. The efforts at landscaping show a similar concern for aesthetics in the midst of utility. Of interest is the fact that the landscaping is concentrated in those areas where people congregated: around the Locker Room, the office building, and the demonstration buildings, and along the main highway approach to the complex.
The soundness of the underlying principles and of the execution of the original plan and design for this industrial complex can be seen in the way that the complex has developed over time. The original cross-axial layout and hierarchical arrangement has proved to be a workable framework around which growth and development could take place. Renovations, additions, and new constructions -- not always sensitively done in and of themselves -- have been accommodated by the original scheme of development. They have elaborated upon but not overwhelmed it. These accretions also lend an "organic" feeling to the complex, giving it a visible and tangible sense of history.
As an industrial artifact, the E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works is significant because it constitutes, in an almost fully preserved state, a complete and integrated late-nineteenth-century manufacturing complex.
With interpretation provided by available documentation, the entire process of manufacturing cotton-ginning equipment can be traced through the complex as it stands today : the delivery and storage of raw materials, the fabrication of various materials into components, assembly and finishing, and warehousing and shipping finished products. Administrative facilities, power supply and distribution, and utilities and services and amenities are also in evidence. Some of the original power equipment is still in place and possibly operational; some of the original manufacturing equipment may still be on the site.
The complex also makes an interesting and emphatic statement about the late-nineteenth century outlook on transportation: it is principally oriented toward the railroad and not the highway.
Thus, to reiterate, the site's significance rests in that it is a virtually intact late-nineteenth--century manufacturing plant (with some modernizations that remains an ongoing enterprise). Not only do the exteriors of the buildings reflect the original plan of the site (with some modernizations), but the interiors reflect the advancements of technology since the 1880s as the use of overhead shafting to distribute power emanating from a central power source to the other buildings.
(Photo 1 above is Murray Companys' South elevation. Photo 2 is taken even further south where King Plows east elevation can be seen on the left).
Description of present and historic physical appearance:
The E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works (the Murray Company) consists of a complex of industrial buildings on an 11.3-acre site serviced by rail lines in northwest Atlanta. The complex was built between the early 1880s and the early 1930s. Most of the principal industrial buildings were built by 1911; many of the surviving secondary structures - display, storage, services and utilities, etc. - were built between then and the Depression. For the most part, the complex consists of one-,two- and three-story, redbrick buildings with load-bearing masonry exterior walls and "slow-burning" timber-and-plank interiors. A small number of cast-iron structural elements are employed. There are also a few wood-framed buildings, some sheathed in corrugated sheet metal, and one reinforced poured-concrete building and one steel-framed structure. These buildings are all uniformly utilitarian in their inward and outward appearances. The complex of buildings developed over a period several decades and, like the buildings themselves, was shaped by practical and functional considerations. Evident in spite of the exigencies of time, however, is the original scheme which guided the planning and development of the complex. In both its plan and design, the complex subscribes to period Beaux- Arts principles of cross-axial layout and hierarchical arrangement. The buildings and the yards are organized around north-south and east-west cross- axes. When viewed from the south, the complex features a raised, projecting central pavilion, lower flanking wings, and projecting end pavilions. Most of the original buildings and yards have survived intact, although some have been altered and others destroyed or replaced, the complex as a whole has retained its integrity.
(Note from Historian@Artery.org - Photographs mentioned below are not included in this publication but they can be found in the Archives of The National Register nomination records available at The Georgia Historic Preservation Department of Natural Resources).
Building No. 1, located at the western edge of the complex, is a low rectangular, detached structure, one-story high, 110 feet by 200 feet in plan. It has a steel frame encased in concrete, multiple-paned windows set in metal frames, a concrete floor, a flat plank-on-timber roof, and some corrugated metal siding. On top of the roof are two continuous full-length northward- facing sawtooth skylights. Building No. 1 was built in 1919 and was originally used as a machine shop and then as a facility for crating, storing, and shipping products. Currently, it is being used as a metal fabrication plant. (Building No. II is visible in the background of photographs 11, 12 and 13.)
Building No. 2, located near the western edge of the complex, is, in fact, two distinct contiguous buildings. The earlier "east section" was built between 1899 and 1911; the later "west section" was built between 1911 and 1931. The "east section" is a two-story building, 40 by 61 feet in plan, set into a slope. The load-bearing exterior walls are built of common brick laid in American bond with five rows of light-colored stretchers to one row of dark-colored headers. Interior construction is "slow-burning" plank-and-timber. The structure is strengthened by iron rods, which are fixed to the face of the exterior walls by star-shaped iron anchors. Original windows and doorways were capped by segmental brick arches fashioned from double rows of dark-colored headers; these original openings have since been infilled with brick to frame rectangular steel window sash and doorways. There is a shallow corbelled brick cornice with simulated dentils of edge-laid brick. The original roof may have been either flat or pitched. The west section" is similar to the "east section" except for its narrower dimensions (28 by 61 feet), its original rectangular window and door openings, and the absence of iron reinforcing members and cornice. Both sections now share a broad, low pitched, gabled roof with low raking parapets. The "east section" was originally a "hardware warehouse;" shortly after construction of the "west section," the entire building was devoted to woodworking and pattern storage. It is presently occupied by Rose Enterprises. (Building No. 2 is shown in photograph 12, right, and in photograph 13; details of wall construction are shown in photograph 6.)
Building No. 3, located at the west end of the main industrial complex, was built by 1899 and then either enlarged or replaced by 1911. The surviving structure is a two-story-high, gable-roofed, brick building with dimensions of 60 feet by 140 feet. Load-bearing walls are built of uniformly colored brick laid in common bond with a ratio of five stretchers to one header. Segmental window and doorway arches are fashioned from triple rows of header bricks. One-piece sills are cut stone. First-floor windows are paired, six-over-twelve-over-six triple sashes; second-floor windows, with one exception in the north gable (a window like those on the first floor), are paired twelve-light fixed sash. The sash is wooden throughout. The original packed-earth floor has been covered by concrete. The gable roof carries a clerestory skylight in two sections; this monitor has since been blinded. The roof was originally of fireproof construction (either slate or tin), but is now surfaced with composition shingles. There is a four-step, corbelled-brick horizontal cornice. The raking cornice is crudely finished "tumbled" brickwork. The interior of the building is one vast open space spanned by wooden roof trusses considerably darkened with smoke and soot., Between 1899 and 1911, Building No. 3 was flanked to the north and east by one-story brick sheds. These sheds were demolished when the building was enlarged or replaced by 1911. Building No. 3 was originally a foundry and has been subsequently used for "finished product" and then spray painting and assembly. Today, it is used as a welding shop. The sheds which once flanked the building were used for "rattling, grinding, finishing and pattern storage. "(Building No. 3 appears in photographs 11, 12 (left) and 5.)
Building No. 4, offset from the northern end of the main industrial complex, was built between 1899 and 1911. It was a one-story-high brick building, 48 by 98 feet in plan, with an earth floor (later concrete), "slow-burning" plank-and-timber interior, and a gable roof with a full-length monitor. It was originally used as a blacksmith shop and contained a case hardening furnace at the west end vented to a 35-foot-high, freestanding iron chimney. In 1931, the building was simply identified as a "factory," and the furnace and chimney were gone. Recently, this building was demolished; only the foundation and some low crumbling brick walls remain. (The remains of Building No. 4 can be seen in the foreground of photograph 9.)
Building No. 5 constitutes the west wing of the main industrial complex. One of the original buildings, it was completed by 1899. The major part of Building No. 5 is a long, narrow brick building, 60 by 171 feet in plan and two stories high, with a simple gable roof. The brick walls are laid in a common bond with a ratio of six stretchers to one header; all the bricks are of uniform color. Doorways and windows, the latter on the ground floor containing sixteen-over-sixteen double wooden sash and on the second floor twelve-over-twelve double sash, are segmentally arched with triple rows of header bricks. The cornice is simple and shallow, with five courses of corbelled brick. The interior is for the most part "slow-burning" plank-and-timber, including roof trusses. Some cast iron, in the form of fluted columns and I-beams, is used to frame openings which have been rather crudely broken through the north walls between the major and minor sections of the building; these openings appear to be alterations, since traces of the original segmental arched openings can still be seen. Interior and exterior construction are tied together with iron reinforcing bars that terminate in star shaped anchors on the exterior face of the brick walls. The first floor of the main part of Building No. 5 originally housed a machine shop; the second floor was used as a pattern shop and as a facility for finishing and painting. Assembly and storage functions were later introduced. Most of this part of the building is now vacant. There has been some minor damage, mostly to window sash and frames, from a recent fire. The minor part of Building No. 5 is a one-story, shed-roofed brick addition, 40 by 124 feet in plan, attached to the north side of the main part of the building. It is similarly constructed and detailed, except that the ratio of stretchers to headers is five-to-one and the cornice has only four courses of corralling. There are two rectangular, wood-framed skylights in the roof. Some windows and doorways, especially on the east wall, have been altered or infilled. This shed was originally a blacksmith shop; after construction of a new, detached blacksmith shop, by 1911 (Building No. 4), this shed was incorporated into the main machine shop (this undoubtedly accounts for opening the wall between the major and minor sections of Building No. 5). Also, a part of Building No. 5 is a small, almost square (35 by 40 feet), one-story brick shed attached to the southeast corner of the major part of the building and contiguous to it and Building No 7. This shed served at the office of the E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works until no later than 1911, when a new, detached office building (Building No. 10) had been constructed. This shed was subsequently used as a machine shop and tool room. (The main part of Building No. 5 appears to the right in photograph 0, and the minor part is shown in photograph 10; the original office was not photographed.)
Building No. 6 and Building No. 7 are virtually identical in terms of design and construction. Together they create a single large structure that constitutes the north-south axis of the original industrial complex built by 1899. Building No. 6 is 60' by 118' feet in plan, and Building No. 7 is 60' by 100' feet. Both are three stories high. They are built of brick laid in a common bond with a ratio of six stretchers to one header; the bricks are uniformly colored. Windows and doorways are segmentally arched with triple rows of headers. Windows on all floor levels contain twelve-over-twelve double wooden sash. The roof is flat and finished with a five-course corbelled cornice and a low parapet that steps up or down slightly every four or five bays The south facade has the highest parapet, and the brick walls between the upper floors were painted with the legend, "Van Winkle Gin & Machinery Co." Presumably this is the "front" of the building and of the complex. Interior construction is "slow-burning" timber-and-plank. A loading shed was added to the north end of Building No. 6 by 1931. Both ends of this consolidated building are serviced by rail lines, however. An unusual feature of the buildings is an arched tunnel at ground-floor level through the structure at its midpoint, permitting free access from one yard to the other. Above the tunnel on the east wall is an iron sign, set into the brickwork, bearing the date, "1889." Judging from the evidence in the brickwork where the two buildings are connected, Building No. 6 and Building No. 7 appear to have been built at different times, although both were constructed by 1899. Together, they constituted the principal warehouse and shipping depot of the industrial complex. Secondary manufacturing functions, including varnishing, painting, and erecting were also incorporated into the structure. Today, the buildings are subdivided and leased to small manufacturing enterprises. (Buildings Nos. 6 and 7 appear in photographs 3, right; 4; 8; and 9, left.)
Building No. 8 is actually three distinct contiguous structures. Together, they constitute the east wing of the original industrial complex. The "west section" of Building No. 8 is in essence an "extension" of the major part of Building No. 5. In design, construction and detailing, it is identical, indeed a mirror image; only in its slightly smaller dimensions -- 60 by 100 feet -- does it differ. Dating from the original decade of construction it was first used for woodworking, testing, and constructing. By 1911, it had been outfitted as a machine shop on the first floor and a "gin making and wood shop" on the second floor. By 1931, it had been converted again, this time to sheet-metal fabrication. Today, it is leased to a small metal fabricating company. The "east section" of Building No. 8 was originally a one way, gable-roofed, brick building with the approximate dimensions of 50 feet by 100 feet. It was completed by 1899. The legend, "planing mill," painted in bold white letters across the south facade, announced its purpose. By 1911, the mill had either been enlarged to or replaced by a two-story, flat roofed brick building. This new building was similar in design and construction to Buildings No. 6 and 7. The planing mill was located on the first floor and a woodworking shop occupied the second floor. This newer building is the surviving structure. The "south section" of Building No. 8 is a nearly square (40 feet by 42 feet), one-story, brick building with a gable roof and a skylight. The interior is primarily "slow-burning" timber-and plank, but some cast iron in the form of fluted columns is used to frame crude openings cut through the brick wall into the "east" and "west" sections. This section was built between 1899 and 1911 and served as a machine shop. (Building No. 8 is shown in photographs 2, right, and 3, left.) Within the courtyard formed by the south and west sections of Building No. 8 and Building No. 7 stand the remains of the original boiler room, a small but massively scaled one-story, gable-roofed brick building. A tapering, square section brick chimney once stood adjacent to the boiler room.
Building No. 9 is located at the west end of the main industrial complex. It is actually two distinct but contiguous structures. In 1899, the site of Building No. 9 contained a lumber-drying house with a 60-foot framed chimney and a lumber shed. By 1911, the drying house had been replaced by a frame shed (itself destined for replacement), and the lumber shed had been replaced by a brick building -- the "east section" of Building No. 9. This building is two stories high, 50 by 65 feet in plan, and has a gable roof. The brick walls are laid in a common bond with a ratio of five stretchers to one header. Windows and doorways are framed above by flat brick arches; windowsills are also of brick, laid on edge. The original sash was multi-paned and double hung, but has in most cases been replaced by newer sash or opaque panels. A two-course corbelled cornice leads up to horizontal and raking parapets. The interior arrangement consists of a ground floor below and a three-sided balcony above. Interior construction, including roof trusses, is primarily of timber and plank, with some cast-iron columns. The "east section" of Building No. 9 was originally used by the "motor truck department." By 1931, the "west section" of Building No. 9 had been built between the "east section" and Building No. 8. The "west section" is-essentially an extension of the east section." The roof, however, is constructed of I-beams and sheet metal, and cast-iron columns are used on the first floor. By 1931, both sections of Building No. 9 housed woodworking operations. Today, the space has been subdivided into offices and storage. Overhead shafts, pulleys, and belts, and some motors and other pieces of equipment are still in place and in some cases apparently still operational. (Building No. 9 appears in the center of photograph 2.)
Building No. 10, located at the eastern edge of the complex and aligned diagonally along Foster Street, is a detached structure which was built between 1899 and 1911. It measures 40 feet by 57 feet in plan and is two stories high with a flat roof. Exterior walls are common red brick laid in stretcher bond. The interior is framed. The design of this building is, loosely speaking, Sullivanesque. The walls are articulated in a series of two-story-high shallow-relief arcades (piers, arches, and spandrel panels). Windows on the first floor are paired double sash, each four-over-four set in rectangular frames; lintels are described by single courses of header bricks, and sills are one-piece roughly-cut stone. Second-floor windows are similar but set under projecting elliptical arches, framing transom windows with radiating tracery. The brick cornice is corbelled above dentils fashioned from edge-laid headers. The main entry, on the northeast facade, is topped by a four-centered arch containing a four-light transom above double doors. The entrance is prefaced by a one-story, shed-roofed wooden porch running the full width of the building. This building is connected to the main body of the industrial complex by an enclosed, elevated metal walkway (a later addition). As announced by a large white sign painted on the northern corner of the structure, Building No. 10 was originally the office building (and remained so through the 1960s). Today it is vacant. (Building No. 10 is shown in photographs 1 and 2, left.)
Warehouse No. 1 is located directly north of the main industrial complex. The warehouse was built between 1899 and 1911. It is 76 by 220 feet in plan, and one story high with a broad gable roof and a low, full-length construction sheathed with corrugated sheet metal. The east-end wall, which apparently is not original, is a firewall with stepped and raking parapets and lateral extensions. It is built of brick laid in a common bond with a ratio of five stretchers to one dark-colored header. Several broad, segmental arched doorways have been infilled with newer brick panels or doors. Warehouse No. I was originally called a "Gin Mill Ware House" and was connected to the north end of Building No. 6 by an overhead bridge; now it serves for miscellaneous storage. (Warehouse No. 1 can be seen just left of center in the background of Photograph 14 and to the left in photograph 15.)
Warehouse No. 2 is located directly east of Warehouse No. 1. Like No. 1, it is a wood-framed-structure, sheathed in corrugated sheet metal, with a broad able roof and a full-length monitor. Unlike No. 2, it is shorter and wider (80 by 110 feet) and two stories high, and it is lighted by twelve-overtwelve double-sash windows on each floor level (some of which have been altered and/or damaged). Brick walls at the ends and the corners of the building serve to help fireproof and stabilize the structure (much like bookends). Warehouse No. 2 was built between 1911 and 1931, on the site of a lumberyard and a paint-and-oil house. It is connected to Warehouse No. 1 by an open framed shed. (Warehouse No. 1 is shown in the center of photograph 14 and in the right foreground of photograph 15.)
The Ginnery Building is located east of the main industrial complex and, like the office building, is diagonally aligned along Foster Street. It was built between 1911 and 1931, on the site of an earlier "Auto Truck Warehouse." It is a windowless, wood-framed structure sheathed with corrugated sheet metal siding and a composition roof. Its massing is complex and irregular with a variety of one-, one-and-a-half and two-story-high shed and gable roofed components loosely organized around a northeast-southwest axis. The Ginnery Building originally housed demonstration cotton-ginning equipment. Today, it is leased to arts-and-crafts enterprises specializing in stained and blown glass. (The Ginnery Building appears in photograph 16.)
The Seed Cotton House is located behind (to the northwest of) the Ginnery Building. It is a one-and-a-half-story-high, octagonally shaped building with a "diameter" of 24 feet. It is framed with dimensioned lumber and sheathed with board-and-batten siding. The roof is surmounted by a weathervane.
The Seed Cotton House was one of three buildings built between 1911 and 1931 to service the demonstration equipment in the Ginnery Building; the Seed Cotton House was originally flanked by a Boll-extractor House (on the southwest) and a Seed Hopper (on the northeast). Only the Seed Cotton House has survived, and today it is unused. (The Seed Cotton House appears in photograph 17.)
The Superintendent's Office is situated in a yard directly north of the party wall between Buildings No. 8 and 9. The office is a one-story building, 18 by 42 feet in plan. The lower half of the exterior walls is common-bond brick; the upper half is a continuous series of multiple-paned windows framed in wooden sash. There is a single paneled wood door on the east facade. The Superintendent's Office may have been built as early as 1911 as a "storeroom." By 1931, it had acquired its administrative function. Today, it is vacant and inaccessible because of undergrowth and debris in front of the building. The Locker Room is located directly west of the Superintendent's Office, in a yard -north of Building No. 8. It was built between 1911 and 1931, on the site of an earlier "gin mill warehouse" (which was similar to Warehouse No. 1).
The Locker Room is a one-story building, 30 by 90 feet in plan, with a gable roof and a monitor. The building is built entirely of reinforced poured concrete. The exterior walls are articulated by a series of shallow relief piers that frame recessed spandrel panels, windows, and doorways. The grounds around the Locker Room show signs of previous landscaping efforts: the remains of a lawn, some trees and bushes, and concrete sidewalks and stairways. (The Locker Room is shown in photograph 18.)
The Water Tower is located directly east of Warehouse No. 2. The water tower consists of a 20,000-gallon cylindrical tank on top of an 80-foot-high trestle. The tank is made from riveted boiler plate and is festooned with a crenellated metal cornice. The trestle is articulated, having trusses for its compression members and rods for its tension members. The water tower was definitely in place by 1931, and it may have been erected by 1911 (there is a slight discrepancy in the figures giving the volume of the tanks). It is still standing today. (The water tower can be seen in photograph 14.)
A flagpole stands near Foster Street, some 300 feet east of the water tower. It is a simple metal pole, in several "telescoping" sections, originally painted white. It once stood in the center of a circular, landscaped ground in this undeveloped part of the complex. Since the early-twentieth century, this flagpole has been standing at this corner of the property as a sign of approach along Foster Street, the principal highway access to the industrial complex. (The flagpole is visible at the far right of photograph 16.)
The grounds around the E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works (the Murray Company) are for the most part a series of interlocking graveled yards. Two major yards are formed by the cross-axes of Buildings No. 6 and 7 and Buildings No. 5 and 8; these large yards are connected by a ground-level tunnel between Buildings No. 6 and 7. Smaller yards are created by the arrangement of other buildings in the complex. These yards are now used as thoroughfares or for parking and outdoor storage. Some have been paved with concrete. Others are gravel or merely dirt. A number of the smaller spaces especially are overgrown with coarse grass, bushes and trees. There are some signs of landscaping effort, such as the trees and grass behind the Ginnery Building, the trees, grass, sidewalks, and stairways around the Locker Room, and the grounds around the flag pole. Presumably, some of the large trees scattered about the complex and especially around the office building result from deliberate landscaping as well. Access to and through the grounds was originally and primarily by railroad. The industrial complex is located at a junction of north-south and east-west railroads; main lines swept past the complex along its south side and around to the west. A spur line from the west services the south (front) side of the complex. Another spur line, from the east, runs through the major yards of the complex and services the warehouse facilities on the north side of the complex. Both spur lines are still in place, but neither is usable at present. Highway access was always secondary to the railroads -- almost an afterthought ---and, in terms of planned facilities, it still is, although truck transportation is now wholly responsible for shipping into and out of the complex. Highway access is from the northeast, along Foster Street. Two driveways branch off from Foster Street; one, between the office building and the demonstration building, leads directly into the east yard (along the line of the railroad spur), and the other follows the northern boundary of the property around the principal buildings to the west yard.
Equipment: There is no significant historical equipment or machinery remaining relating to the ginning operations.
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