Although the ‘Trenton Makes The World Takes’ slogan remains several blocks away on the Lower Trenton Bridge, significantly less manufacturing takes place today within the city limits of New Jersey’s capital than a century ago.
At 725 East State Street in Trenton’s East Ward, between Monmouth Street and Chambers Street, a two-story building stands as a reminder of this city’s industrial heritage. The words ‘Trenton Poster Advertising Company’ are still inscribed atop the structure, and the name ‘R.C. Maxwell Co.’ can still be seen above the doorway, both remnants of the companies that operated inside beginning close to 100 years ago.
According to Duke University’s John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, the R.C. Maxwell Company “was one of the earliest enduring outdoor advertising companies,” and merged with the Trenton Poster Advertising Company in 1923, subsequently moving into the latter company’s East State Street building and using it for creating billboards. The University report states that R.C. Maxwell owned the building until 2000 when the company was sold to Interstate Outdoor.
Now, an out of state company is planning to revitalize the property, which is located in the East State Street Redevelopment Area, for light industrial use. According to a legal notice from the Trenton Planning Board, YCS Investments, LLC, which is registered out of an office in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, is planning to renovate the 20,000 square foot building and convert it into a light fixture manufacturing plant. Parking, loading, and ‘outdoor employee amenities’ are included in the proposal. The company has applied for site plan approval with variances for lot coverage and yard setback.
The Trenton Planning Board will hear the proposal during its meeting this Thursday, July 13th at 7:30pm at the City Hall Council Chambers.