“Townsend is growing, expanding, taking on new challenges, all while still giving glorious attention to our current needs. We are anxiously watching the development of our newest building…
We lovingly call it, The Stitch.”
50 years is an incredible milestone and truly deserving of celebration.
This year holds one of the most significant moments in Townsend’s history, with a growth beyond the boundaries of Townsend Ave. Down the street and around the corner, we now have a new building to call home as well, The Stitch.
Well over 100 years old, The Diana Knitting Mill building was an icon of Johnstown for years. As Townsend continued to grow in the past 50 years, it was clear we were running out of space. Even though the old Diana Knitting Mill had been abandoned and left vacant for nearly 20 years, when Tim, Jared, Sarah, Tricia, Jeff, and Shawn stepped inside to dream about the future – they were able to see through the vast amount of restorative work needed, and see a vision for a way forward. The 6 of them had searched numerous other sites for 2 years, before they came across The Diana Knitting Mill. It wasn’t until this building, the history and stories contained within it, that they fell in love with it together and made a plan forward. Under the ever-watchful eye and guidance of Tim, the building has undergone 2 years of restoration. Staying as true to the original form and materials of the building’s origins as possible. We now lovingly call this building, The Stitch. As a symbol of our collective stitching together of history and dreams, and future and past.
With the additional space this building brought to Townsend, in 2019 we were able to move Sorting, Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, HR, and Accounting out of the way, to expand our production capabilities on Townsend Ave., while still remaining just around the corner, giving greater capacity and efficiency to our core production processes still located on Townsend Avenue.
We started the process of converting the 100+-year-old local building to useable space, back in 2017. We scouted locations, weighed pros and cons, and then “broke ground” on a new venture. But it was not until 2019 that visible work on the building could be seen.
Under the careful and thoughtful direction of Tim Beckett, we restored the building that was once known as the Diana Knitting Mill, a manufacturer of various items throughout the years like clothing and underwear. It, unfortunately, was left vacant and in disarray for years. But Townsend has brought it back to life.
Everything was carefully restored to historical site guidelines. We even used reclaimed doors, wall tiles, sinks… we are keeping and reusing as much of the building as possible and where we have to get something new, we are buying used first and environmentally friendly next.
The building, the restoration process, and the move into it has been a process of love and care. We call it the stitch because of its history of stitching and knitting, and because of its ability to stitch our past and our future together.
We even took a moment one sunny day, to string ourselves along the path from our oldest of buildings to our newest, passing a hide hand to hand, to celebrate the first moment we all got to enter the building together.
Stitching together our past, our future, our hopes, and our dreams.
This growth is exciting and has been a big part of our celebrated 50th year, it hold a special place in our collective heart and that love has been equally shared by our incredible Glove Cities local community.