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The 1920s was a period of rapid growth for the United States Gypsum Company, who constructed several new facilities throughout the country. In 1929, they began building a plant in southwest Philadelphia on land formerly owned by the Gulf Oil Company.

Bordered on the north by 56th St, the south by Gulf Oil, and the west by the Philadelphia and Reading Railway (which provided rail service), the plant appeared to rely on the Schuylkill River for delivery of inbound raw materials....
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