Friday, November 10, 2006

And a House on Top. . .

Our Adirondack camp, Penwood, was named for our family's company, Penfield Mfg. Co. in Syracuse, New York. The company was run by my great-grandfather, then my grandfather, Albert Gordon, and finally, by my uncle Charles L. Gordon. It recently, sadly, closed its doors after a long and distinguished history as a part of the Syracuse community. Like many of the manufacturing companies that used to thrive in upstate New York, Penfield suffered from the modernization of the industry, global commerce, ease of shipping, efficient manufacturing, and consolidation of industries and, of course, competition. There was no 1-800-MATTRESS in the heyday of Penfield, let alone a Hotels did not sell their Fabulous Beds on their Internet sites, like Four Seasons, Starwood and other hotel companies now do. It was crippled by its inability to change and be flexible in a world of commerce that is all about adapting fast and staying competitive. Another local company, L&JG Stickley, almost suffered the same fate, but it was bought and rehabilitated by Alfred Audi and his wife and turned into a shiny new model of quality and efficiency. So here is a small tribute to Penfield and its great old building on Salina Street, with a little house on top.

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