This complex, once three separate structures built between 1886 and 1905, hosed a wide variety of industries. These included a shoe manufacturer, the nation's leading straw hat company, (M.S. Levy), one of the largest lithographers in the south, (Isaac Friedenwald and Company), and E. Rosenfeld and Company, manufacturer of sleepwear.
These large, elegant buildings, with oversized windows to allow more light, were a welcome relief from the small, back rooms of tiny houses where people had worked and lived among strong fumes and cuttings piled high on the floor.
The unskilled labor force of the garment industry was filled largely by women, who worked 16 hour shifts for less than a dollar a day.