From the Inbox

From the Inbox

Back in July, our Unlisted series featured the former Schlichter Jute Cordage Works factory (click here to view the original post).  We just got the following note in response, and wanted to share.  Thank you, Mr. Casale, for a wonderful mystery solved!

Dear Ben Leech/ Preserve Philly/field notes,

my name is Cody Casale, the grandson of Martin Stein, who is the president of Sterling Paper company. The other night I was randomly browsing google images and came across your article about my Grandfathers factory.

I am pleased to read what you wrote, the illustration of the building and also the photos you shot. I would like to add some of my knowledge about what I know, to inform you:

The paper company is still in business and my Grandfather has been struggling to keep it alive- but it is still going… union workers and all. The original signage that was on the top sides of the building said “it takes a golden effort to make a sterling product”. After a while, (about in 2001), that signage became old and the Philadelphia Mural Arts wanted to add some mystery to the building. I was getting ready to attend RISD, Rhode Island School of Design and wanted to help out with the project. Meg Saligman, one of the main artists from the philly mural arts went in and spoke with my grandfather about his past, and wrote down bold statements that he stated as he told his stories to her. She then used those statements and in a “subtle” manner (w/o runing the run down look of the building) had Tony (local graff. artist and myself) add the sayings, the paintings of my grandfather, my mother and myself, also the “1st, 2nd and 3rd” shift paintings. To this day, after the mural was finished- people would walk by the building in confusion wondering what it all means- asking my grandfather numerous questions. If it was up to him, he would of rather of had his original Sterling Paper slogan redone, in crisp black/white paint.

I really appreciate your effort to acknowledge your awareness of the building and will be sure to pass your article on to my grandfather and aunt (president and vice president).


Cody Casale



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