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Cramp Building History

The I.P. Morris Co. Machine Shop No. 2., otherwise known as the Cramp Building, is a contributing resource of the Fishtown Historic District (FHD). The building is located at 2050 Richmond Street. Take a video tour.

Since the FHD is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, contributing resources like the Cramp Building must be assessed by PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to determine the impacts the I-95/Girard Avenue Interchange Project may have on the building and to explore ways to mitigate or minimize that impact.

The building will be removed to make way for improvements in the project area. The Sustainable Action Committee (SAC) will work with PennDOT to salvage some of the building’s assets for re-use and/or for possible incorporation into a public art display that may be included in the project.

Machine Shop No. 2 was built in 1913 by William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building Company, Philadelphia’s premier shipbuilder of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. I.P. Morris Co., a subsidiary of Cramp & Sons, manufactured steam engines.

In 1904, I.P. Morris Co. established a Hydraulics Department for the design of hydraulic turbines. The Machine Shop was built specifically for the manufacture of hydraulic turbines for hydroelectric dams.

The building is approximately 460-feet long by 140-feet wide. It is in the classic design of large machine shops of that era, with numerous windows providing ample natural light, long crane-ways to move parts between stations and prominent rail car access.

The Cramp shipyards closed in 1927 but reopened during WW II as the Cramp Shipbuilding Company. Machine Shop No. 2 became the Turret Shop, machining naval gun turrets. The shipyard again closed in 1945.

Machine Shop No. 2, the last remaining building associated with the William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building Company, has been used as general warehouse ever since. Overhead cranes are the only remnant of the building’s manufacturing past.


Exterior of the Cramp Building


Front windows of the Cramp Building as seen from inside


Interior of the Cramp Building


Cramp Building office space


The Cramp Building's roof trusses as seen from the interior