Nipper Building

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Nipper Building
RCA Nipper Camden NJ A.JPG
Location 1 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey
Coordinates 39°56′59″N 75°07′37″W / 39.949671°N 75.126990°W / 39.949671; -75.126990Coordinates: 39°56′59″N 75°07′37″W / 39.949671°N 75.126990°W / 39.949671; -75.126990
Area 3.7 acres (1.5 ha)
Built 1909
Architect Ballinger & Perrot
Architectural style Classical Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 02001253[1]
NJRHP # 3033[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 4, 2002
Designated NJRHP September 18, 2002

The Nipper Building is a colloquial name for The Victor condominiums, and formerly, Building 17, RCA Victor Company, Camden Plant. The structure is a historical building located in Cooper Grant neighborhood of Camden, Camden County, New Jersey, United States. For many years it was the headquarters of the Victor Talking Machine Company, later RCA Victor. Originally a Victrola cabinet factory, the structure was converted into luxury apartments and retail space in 2004.[3]

History[edit]

The Nipper Building, now known as 'The Victor', was originally constructed during 1909-1916, by the architectural and engineering firm of Ballinger & Perrot.[4]

Stained glass window in the building's tower featuring Nipper.

Francis Barraud, an unknown British artist, painted a picture of his brother's dog, sitting attentively in front of a phonograph. "Nipper", the alert Fox Terrier, became the best known dog in the world. The painting, called His Master's Voice, was sold to the British Gramophone Company Ltd. and eventually became the trademarks of both the Gramophone Company and its new American affiliate, the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. RCA purchased the Victor Company in 1929. The purchase included the Camden manufacturing plant and the "His Master's Voice" trademark.[5] The four stained glass windows in the buildings tower depicting the Nipper trademark were originally installed in 1915 and were illuminated at night. In 1968, RCA began using a new corporate logo and de-emphasized both the "Victor" and Nipper trademarks. The windows were removed the following year and replaced with RCA's new logo painted on large sheets of plywood. Beginning in 1976, partly in response to public demand, the Nipper trademark was reinstated to many RCA products and used again in RCA advertising. On April 10, 1978, RCA held a ceremony in Camden dedicating four new stained glass windows, identical to the originals, which had been reinstalled in the tower. The windows were made by D’Ascenzo Studios of Philadelphia, the same firm which had constructed the originals, 65 years earlier. The windows were damaged by vandals after General Electric, which had absorbed RCA in 1986, vacated the building in the 1990s. The windows were replaced in 2003 after the building was acquired by Dranoff Properties and converted into loft apartments.

The Nipper Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

The Victor[edit]

After manufacturing ceased in 1992, the building became vacant, vandalized and a general eyesore to the surrounding area and was in danger of demolition. Most of the other dozens of old RCA Victor buildings at the Camden site had already been razed. In 1997, the building was listed on Preservation New Jersey's Ten Most Endangered sites list.[6]

As pictured in WPSJ-LD logo card, 2011.

Utilizing the Investment Tax Credit, the structure was converted into a complex featuring a mix of 341 upscale loft apartments with outstanding views of the Philadelphia skyline. The restoration was completed in August 2003 at a cost of $65 million.[7] Approximately 80% of the project's funding came from private sources, namely through Dranoff Properties, Fleet Bank and Related Capital. Remaining funding came from various public sources including the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority and the Delaware River Port Authority.[7]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Camden County". New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. January 10, 2010. p. 12. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Landmark living on the Camden Waterfront.". Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "RCA Victor Company, "Nipper Building" Rehabilitation". 17 June 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "About RCA - Nipper and Chipper". Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey Archive". Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "2004 Preservation Awards Presented in State House Ceremony". Retrieved 18 July 2010. 

External links[edit]