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Project 020 ◄| Project List |► Project 021a

FBG Project D-021

Source: FBG-EN1905

Factory for Columbian Rope Co

  • Auburn, NY
  • Contract: Jun 1903
    Construction: Summer 1903–early 1904
  • Engineers: Dean and Main
  • Demolished.

This immense factory would be the first of two FBG would build for Columbian Rope Company in Auburn, NY, along with another factory for an farm equipment manufacturer and his first, unidentified project in 1895 that may well have been for another rope maker. This factory was touted as having “eight acres of floor space” or some 350,000 square feet. Later claims, which include the 1907 extension, are for “one million square feet” of production space, which may be either an exaggeration or include areas beyond the “eight acre” floor under one roof.

There are notes that this is a repeat project from Dean & Main, but the earlier commissions have not been identified. Production in the facility is said to have begun “ten months and six days” after plans were started. FBG would build a companion factory next to this one in 1907.

Columbian Rope Company still exists and continues to produce rope and cordage products as part of The Cordage Group. They are headquartered in Illinois and no longer appear to have any facilities in Auburn.

FBG Provenance


Demolished, date unknown but not before WWII and possibly not until the late 1970s.


  • Boston Globe, 6 Jun 1903. This odd notice under “Deaths” indicates FBG had men on the ground in Auburn well ahead of the construction of this project; whether there is any connection is not known:

  • Buffalo Courier, 3 Jul 1903: notice seeking “carpenters used to heavy mill construction.”
  • Boston Globe, 11 Sep 1903: notice seeking bricklayers at 55¢ per hour.
  • Engineering News, July 1907 ad:

 Letter from July 1907 EN ad

  • View during construction from ad in System, Nov 1907:

 System, Nov 1907

  • Ad in American Wool & Cotton Reporter, 2 Sep 1905:

 FBG ad from AWCR, 2 Sep 1905

  • Postcard view, 1904, and same image from ad in System, Nov 1907:

 Postcard view of factory, 1904  System, Nov 1907

  • Library of Congress photo, 1909. The original factory (this project) is at right; the expansion of 1907 is the smaller building at left, connected by a catwalk:

 Panoramic view of factory and extension, 1909

  • Postcard view, about 1920:

  • Historical marker, 2015:

Books & Articles

  • The Monument: A History of the Columbian Rope Company, Columbian Rope Company, 1958
columbian-1.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/11 19:58 by