From 1870 to 1946 the Crescent Stone Company mined the limestone for its cement manufacturing thereby setting the stage for later site development. In the mid-1950’s the U.S. Air Force created an engineering study to create a bomb-proof storage depot at the site. The military never followed through with the plan.
The property lay dormant until 1963 when Page Avjet, an aviation service company, and Medusa Cement Company jointly owned and developed the mine into The Wampum Mine Storage Company. The first tenant was the General Services Administration. The GSA stored medical supplies and equipment for Civil Defense hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A year later Medusa Cement Company opened a new technical center at the current site of the real estate offices. The pedestrian entrance and facade were completed for the project. American Optical Company in 1965 created plans for a 2,000 square foot optical lab including a shaft to the surface for measurement purposes.
Page Avjet became the sole owner in 1980, rebranding the mine as the Wampum Industrial Facility. Through the years, space has been used in a variety of ways: from a storage facility for equipment, metal alloys, vehicles, and food products to a secure records storage facility with humidity and temperature controlled vaults for vital records, film (Star Wars Trilogy along with other classics), microfilm and computer tapes, to a film location for movies including the 1985 cult classic Day of the Dead by George Romero.
Wampum Underground Limited Partnership purchased the facility in 1994. A new portal and roadway were constructed in 1995. Interior truck docks and building additions totaling over 60,000 sq. ft. were made between 1996 and 1998 and in February 1999, Wampum Underground completed an additional 100,000 square foot building expansion. In 2005 Bruce-Wish Management purchased the facility and immediately undertook expansion of an additional 250,000 square feet of conditioned archival records and warehousing space. The recent Bruce-Wish expansion brings the total amount of space developed to over 850,000 square feet of the facility’s total 2.5 million square foot subsurface potential.
Wampum’s physical structure consists of huge limestone pillars, up to 30 feet in diameter, which support a solid limestone ceiling. Concrete floors and block walls are installed over the solid limestone base. The walls and limestone ceilings are painted white for optimal illumination. Electricity, lighting, sprinklers, plumbing, truck docks, and specialized climate control systems are installed to meet each tenant’s requirements. The steady state climate remains a constant, natural ambient temperature of 55 degrees and the subsurface is vibration free. Conditioned areas are easily maintained at less than 60 degrees and 60 percent relative humidity.