Jacob Frishmuth started his tobacco business in a long-lost building at 3rd and Callowhill Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By the time Frishmuth Bros. & Co. expanded their plant even further on Quarry Street, they were employing over 100 workers, producing and distributing seven varieties of chewing tobacco and four varieties of cigarettes.
In 1903, the fourth generation of Frishmuths purchased a triangular plot of land bounded by 17th Street, Lehigh, and Glenwood Avenues and the Pennsylvania Railroad freight tracks. Here they planned a tobacco production, storage, and distribution complex that would expand manufacturing operations with 20th century advancements.
When completed in 1904, the Frishmuth Tobacco Works of was considered one of the most modern facilities of its type in the country.
The current owners, J. Paul, Inc., purchased the property in 2002. It has now been repurposed and renewed as a daycare center, a senior center, the Philadelphia Recovery Community Center, the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, and several other community-based organizations.
The Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network (PAAN) is one of the city’s leading non-profit agencies dedicated to addressing drug abuse and violence among our youth and their families. They work to transform their lives through drug intervention, counseling, education, job readiness, community service, academic achievement and various empowerment programs.
The Philadelphia Recovery Community Center is a service of the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. (The Council) is a private non-profit prevention, education, advocacy, assessment, intervention, and recovery support organization, serving the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia. The Council provides a wide range of services to reduce the impact of addiction and improve related health issues for the entire community including families, schools, businesses, individuals and the community, regardless of ability to pay, ethnicity, race, gender, age or sexual orientation.
The Council, founded in 1975, is a member of a nationwide affiliate network of The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. They provide resources and opportunities to reduce the impact of addiction, trauma and other related health issues for the entire community. They accomplish this through prevention, consultation, education, advocacy, assessment, intervention and recovery support services.
From giving people cancer and emphysema to giving the community vitally-needed public services. That’s repurposing taken to a high level at the former tobacco works.
Featured image shows the Frishmuth Tobacco Works in 1907.