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GR Mitchell Helps 128 Year Old Philadelphia Building Revive Its Exterior

Transformation both old render and new

Reconstructing the Old Endurance Mill Located in Kensington

Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, a city rich in history and culture that has a lot to offer. Like many major cities, it consists of modern skyscrapers and historic style government buildings. When time passes and these buildings take harm, we step in. GR Mitchell’s architectural millwork team is working a new job replacing damaged window sash for the Endurance Mill in Kensington. The Millwork team is equipped to reproduce these sash as they were in 1893 when the building was being built.


In 1894 the Endurance Mill was built for John G. Carruth and Company. The mill was mainly used to weave and to create fine textile fabrics. As seen in the following image, the building is made entirely of brick, is five stories high with a two-story office attached. Endurance had its own engine room to produce steam power and heat for the entire building. Over the 128 years since the building was built, a lot has happened. After business saw a decline, John G. Carruth and Company sold the mill over to Nortex Inc. in 1987. Not only did the owners change, the neighborhood changed, it was riddled by crime. With due time the building itself sustained structural damage throughout the years. The chimney deteriorated, and many windows have either been broken or damaged throughout the building.

GR Mitchell was approached by the owner of the building. Millwork Manager, John Freels, was enthusiastic when listening to the plan to restore the sash of such a large building and give it new life and purpose. Talking to John about this he said “I love the history behind these old buildings and share that passion with our customer.” We quickly got to work producing the operative radius top double hung sash. Image 1 shows the top half of the sash completed and preparation for delivery (Image 2 is a completed fitted sash) . 53” wide, 9’-6” high sash, yes they’re quite big and there’s approximately 336 to be made but this is no daunting project for the millwork team at GR Mitchell.


The task is to reproduce the damaged windows from the Endurance Mill, we can do that with the tools and skills that our experienced craftsman carry. The job although encompasses more, its revitalizing a piece of history , bringing back to life the building and the morale of the neighborhood it resides in. . It is the Legacy of the current owner and his personal “endurance” for a job well done. Stay tuned for more updates on this project through our website and social media. If you have some restoration work to be done or anything, literally anything cut out of wood give our Millwork Team a call at 717-786-7396 or check out their work.