Who Burned Down the Roebling Works Building 100 Years Ago?

Who Burned Down the Roebling Works Building 100 Years Ago?

For those of us within Trenton's art community, we know that the Roebling Wire Works building is a historic facility that houses the Artworks-presented Art All Night festival every year. What many of us might not have known was that the facility's timeline bleeds into other points of history, including an intriguing read from earlier today about a 100-year-old fire that netted no arrests... or even a confirmation of German involvement.

That's right, the first of a series of attacks—200 to be exact—on American soil in 1915 started here in Trenton, sadly bringing World War I right to our front door. The Roebling company was making money off of their metal cables, which were used in shipping materials for the war. Reports say that the fire alarm system at the building was cut, and thus started a rash of suspicious fires and explosions at plants in the U.S., with many assuming they were the work of German sabotage.

A spokesman from the German consulate in New York is quoted as saying that Germany doesn't "comment on historical events that happened 100 years ago," so we'll never know if it was them or not with 100% certainty. But it is interesting to know that the facility we celebrate the vibrant world of art in has more history in it than John A. Roebling's wire rope designs, which helped bring us the Brooklyn Bridge.

If you want to learn more about this period in American history, you should check out the book Dark Invasion (which is apparently being made into a feature film starring Bradley Cooper).