Klots Throwing Company Mill
917, Gay Street, Cumberland, Allegany County
The Klots Throwing Company Mill, built in 1902-1903, is a long two-story brick building that stands out in a predominantly residential area of smaller-scale houses. The double-gable roofs with paired stepped parapets are a striking and distinctive feature of this mill. A flat-roof section on the front, three bays deep, contained the offices. The remainder of the building is eighteen bays long with two-story pilasters that taper at the second story and at the eaves dividing each window bay. A tower at the rear of the building housed a stair and bathrooms on each floor. The interior of the main block is undifferentiated with a large open space on each floor. Utilitarian in character, the brick walls are exposed and the posts, beams, floors, and ceiling are of wood. Two rows of slender posts divide the first floor into three bays while the second floor is divided into two wide bays with a row of timber posts located in the center at the valley of the double-gable roof. A one-story boiler room and coal bin are located at the north corner of the mill and a one-story addition was constructed along the south wall at the basement level in 1909. Both are now roofless and in ruins. Today the mill stands as evidence of the industrial character of Cumberland and of a vanished industry that once flourished in this country. The mill is currently undergoing renovation, and will be converted to loft apartments.
The Klots Throwing Company Mill, constructed in 1902-03, with an addition built in 1909, operated until about 1972, after which it was used for storage. The mill epitomizes the management philosophy of the era in which it was built: its location in the western Maryland coal belt, its proximity to inexpensive fuel and transportation, and the employment of low-wage, mostly female labor. Its utilitarian design also is in keeping with then-current thought regarding the construction of silk mills. Today, the mill stands as a reminder of an important aspect of Cumberland’s industrial past. It is historically significant for its association with an industry in which at the time of its construction the United States was a world leader, and also because its location in western Maryland’s coal belt reflects contemporary assumptions and practices regarding ideal locations for such mills and the availability of inexpensive labor. The mill is also architecturally significant as an example of a utilitarian purpose-built factory which retains the integrity of its historic attributes.