August 26, 2021
Today’s entry in our Top 100 Projects countdown is the Bigelow Rugs & Carpets Service Center in South Hackensack, completed in 1956.
This 131,000-square-foot, $1.2 million ($12 million in 2021) facility provided Bigelow retailers along the eastern sales region a fast and efficient customer order handling outlet for all of their rug and carpet needs. This building featured two acres of storage space as well as one acre of workroom space. It was therefore able to store 2,500 rolls of carpet in the warehouse area and an additional 2,000 rolls in the cut and finish area.
Order handling in this facility was very cutting edge for 1956, and featured a teletype hook-up with each of Bigelow’s eastern region sales offices. The orders were then processed through an automatic machine in the service center. For instance, a permanent punched tape was prepared for all of Bigelow’s customers and, when a customer placed an order, that "tape" was inserted into the automatic typing machine, which simultaneously produced the shipping ticket and bills of lading in the shipping department.
This facility also featured the latest, most efficient labor-saving material handling equipment, including automatic staking, ram-trucks and overhead cranes, which assured fast selection and dispatching of orders. Additionally, the inside shipping and receiving docks were able to accommodate four railroad cars and 12 trailer trucks, which featured "floating" hydraulic docks that could be leveled to the exact height of the truck floor.
Additionally, this facility featured a state-of-the-art laboratory and training center for Bigelow’s Carpet Cleaning Institute.