In the early 1800s this area was
the center of the region's salt industry. Much of the area was so
swampy it was unusable for any other purpose. From 1800 to 1900, 12 million tons of salt were
In the late 19th century, with the salt industry in
decline, this region evolved rapidly into the city's leading manufacturing
and warehousing district. Products of all kinds were produced or
distributed from this location, including brooms and baseball bats, metal
furnishings and railway devices, typewriters and automobile gears. For
more than fifty years, this "new industrial center, " was home to many of
the City's leading manufacturers such as O. M. Edwards and New Process
In the mid 20th century much of this industry moved to the
suburbs or out of the region altogether. Most of the buildings in
this area became vacant and remained that way for decades. At the end of
the 1980s there was one million square feet of vacant space in Franklin
Square, an area equal in size to three Carrier Domes.
A remarkable revival is occurring now in Franklin Square.
Old industrial buildings have been transformed into elegant condominiums,
new housing is being constructed, restaurants are opening and those
businesses that were able to hang on are refurbishing their properties.