The Ford Motor Company/Botany Building
2700 N. Broad Street
You may not know it by name, but you’ve seen this building. It is the tall triangular building on the corner of Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue. The building was first constructed as an auto manufacturing plant for the Ford Motor Company in 1914, though it did not produce many cars in the first few years because it was producing machine gun trucks, ordinance, helmets, and other protective gear for use in World War I. The factory produced as many as 150 cars per day until it was sold in 1925. The building served as a warehouse until 1950 when Joseph H. Cohen & Sons converted it into a clothing factory. In 1972, the factory started producing suits for Botany 500 (hence the current name), employing around 2,000 people until 1982, when it began laying off workers. The company later declared bankruptcy and the building was sold to an unknown investor with an address in Long Island, New York. City officials and community development workers have ideas for the building, but first, they need to find the owner.
- Gassman, H. L. The Botany 500 Building: Failure of Garment Square, 5 May 2014, botany500building-philly-blog.tumblr.com.
- Maule, Bradley. “Broad & Lehigh's Landmark Botany 500 Building, Awaiting Its Next Life.” Hidden City Philadelphia, 4 Sept. 2013, http://www.hiddencityphila.org/2013/09/broad-lehighs-landmark-botany-500-building-awaiting-its-next-life/