Goodyear Building (1979-present)

International Shoe Company (Now Goodyear)

The Goodyear Building is a three story brick building standing at 595 West Louther Street. It was built in 1891 by John Lindner, owner of the Lindner Shoe Company, to house his factory. For nearly thirty years the factory produced fine women’s shoes, at its height employing 900 workers in three shifts. Financial troubles, and an inability to keep up with rapid changes in women’s shoes, caused the Lindner Shoe Company to be sold in November 1922 to the Bedford Shoe Company, also of Carlisle.

The Bedford Shoe Company was started in 1891 by Alonzo F. Bedford and Harry W. Johnson. After Johnson left the company, he was replaced by William H. Goodyear. In 1919, the Bedford Shoe Company sold its older factory to the G. R. Kinney Corporation. Three years later, Bedford and Goodyear purchased the Lindner factory, often hailed as the most modern factory in the Carlisle shoe industry. When Alonzo Bedford retired, the Bedford Shoe Company remained under Goodyear’s control.

The G. R. Kinney Corporation, another shoe manufacturer, purchased the factory on West Louther Street in 1963. They renamed the building the Goodyear Warehouse, and used it as extra storage and rental space.

Dickinson College acquired the Goodyear Warehouse on October 1, 1979 for $80,000. The College first used the building to house the offices of the Physical Plant, as well as for storage of extra supplies and library books. Eventually the Physical Plant moved into a newer building at 50 Orange Street, originally built by the Kinney Corporation to replace the aging Goodyear Building.

Today, the Goodyear Building has been restored to a new life as a student dormitory. The building holds 32 loft-style apartments which house 118 students, studio space for artists, and a café. In keeping with the building’s long manufacturing history, the interior spaces maintain that industrial feeling with exposed pipes, brick walls, and corrugated ceilings. The new spaces opened to student residents in the fall of 2001.

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Dickinson College Archives
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