BONUS: Western Electric Building in Kearny, New Jersey + Sister Building in Chicago
Western Electric Building in Kearny, New Jersey (left); Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois. Image via Wikimedia: public domain
Untapped Cities founder, Michelle Young, spotted the Western Electric Building in Kearny, New Jersey, which has a sister building called Hawthorne Works in Cicero, a small suburb in Chicago. Between 1926 and 1986, the Kearny plant employed thousands of people, who produced a variety of supplies for the Bell System.
During its prime, it boasted the title of “the busiest manufacturing plant in the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s empire.” Since then, the plant has drastically downsized as Western Electric established newer factories around the country. Like the facilities in Kearny, Hawthorne Works was once a large factory complex, which once employed 45,000 workers. It opened in 1905 and operated until 1983.