Greensboro's textile mills are significant reflections of the city's growth and essential industrial economy.
Our story starts in 1913.
Printworks Mill is a collection of industrial buildings constructed in multiple stages beginning in 1913. Standing between two other industrial complexes, Revolution Cotton Mill and White Oak Mill, the three mills were all originally part of the Cone family textile mill empire and were key contributors to the diversification and evolution of the textile industry in Greensboro.
The first of its kind in GSO.
As the first textile printer in the south, Printworks Mill proved that southern mills could complete the sophisticated task of printing cloth.
When the mill was newly-purchased and the Cone family installed a printing machine for fabric, the manufacturer was content to make the sale, but found it a dubious investment as fabric printing had been something mostly done in the north at that time. “What in the world are you going to do with a printing machine way down there in the sticks?“, said the salesman.
The glow up was real.
By 1914, Printworks Mill had 40 employees. By 1921 that number grew to 141, with the highest-paid employee earning $4.55 per hour. Finally, by 1928, 200 people worked at Printworks Mill and 125,000 yards of cloth were produced daily. Over the next two decades, the Cone family continued to expand. They purchased additional mills and expanded their services and products.
Greensboro’s expanding textile industry prompted the establishment of metalworking plants to support machinery at the textile mills. North Carolina’s promotion of these industry achievements sought to attract more producers to the state.
The end of an era.
Despite North Carolina’s promotional efforts, the textile industry suffered greatly over the next two decades. Clashes between management and organized labor, changes in regulation, and competition for imported yarns and fabrics all put stress on the textile mills. These were just a few factors that lead to Printworks Mill’s eventual closure in 1977.
A breath of new life
Printworks Mill is currently undergoing a major restoration, bringing historic apartments to Greensboro, NC. Printworks Mill is being transformed into a vibrant community hub, including unique mixed-income apartments, interior parking, boutique retail space and climate-controlled self-storage facilities.
New meets old at Printworks Mill. Historic apartments and commercial space will be perfectly combined with high-end finishes and modern amenities. Brand new historic apartments in Greensboro NC are coming soon.