Original Victor Talking Machine Company Executive Offices to Be RevitalizedLast Edited:
A building that has not only been a part Camden's rich history, but also the music industry's history for more than a century, has been bought by official developers with Millennial Place, LLC.
The original Victor Talking Machine Company executive offices are coming back to life after years of neglect.
“When I saw this building, I realized it was a diamond in the rough. It was deteriorated, it was run down, but the history was very appealing," said president and CEO of Millennial Place LLC, Alfred Hagen.
"I didn’t even appreciate how wonderful the history was, but I knew there was something special here. It had a magic even though most of it has been destroyed or concealed.”
I can restore its glory and hopefully make it even better than it was originally.
The RCA Victor Company pioneered the way for musical artists and recording studios. Even the Philadelphia Orchestra recorded their first symphony in Camden.
“People don’t realize it but at the turn of the century — 1900s — Camden really was what we would consider Silicon Valley today. It was the leading edge of the technological curve," said Hagen. "Recording music was invented in New Jersey. Edison tried to make a phonograph [and] Alexander Graham Bell worked on the concept.
"Victor Talking Machine Company was the commercial entity that made it a commercial success."
Original designs were covered up by previous tenants, but Hagen and his team have been able to uncover much of the building's authentic beauty and bring it back to life.
“I’ve always been more excited by the potential of a rundown building than by seeing something that’s already beautiful and already done because that’s what I do," said Hagen. "I make things beautiful and when I looked at it, I [knew] I can make this beautiful again. I can restore its glory and hopefully make it even better than it was originally."
Officials with Procida Funding & Advisors partnered with Hagen to fund the project.
“You don’t want a community of just all brand new, glass and shiny buildings," said Billy Procida, president of Procida Funding & Advisors. "You need some level of history maintained and Camden’s got some great historical properties.
"This area is rich in history and you can’t be tearing things down like this."
According to Hagen, the eight-story highrise has the potential to become many things in the future, including a place that holds commercial office spaces or even a hotel.
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