There's just something special about this place
The role these grounds have played in U.S. history is a proof-of-concept that innovation lives here, and has done so for more than a century.
Camp North End is where imagination and determination are the powder kegs of world-changing events, and where businesses have found success across industries.
Architect Albert Kahn designed the first factory here for the Ford Motor Company in 1924. The 240,000 square foot building was powered by three massive coal-powered boilers, which are still on site behind the Boileryard's water tower. 300,000 Model T and Model A cars were built here while the Ford Factory was active prior to the Great Depression.
During World War II, the US Army built another five massive warehouses to serve as a Quartermaster Depot, supplying soldiers at basic training camps all throughout the southeast. Full sections of buildings were dedicated to things like typewriter repairs and uniform distribution. You can still see the Army’s inactive train tracks across the site today.
During the Cold War, the site’s primary production switched back to its industrial roots and moved into missile development. No longer used for typewriters, conveyor belts were used to aid in munitions packing and building army grade vehicles, called "Gama Goats". The US Army referred to the site as CAMP, short for Charlotte Area Missile Plant, which is what inspired the name we use today.
With national threats neutralized, the United States Secretary of Defense sold this manufacturing complex to Eckerd Pharmaceuticals in 1967. Many people who currently live in the North End neighborhoods remember working in the Eckerd factories, and continued to work here once the company was acquired by Rite Aid.
ATCO Properties purchased the 76-acre site from Rite Aid pharmaceuticals in 2016 and opened it to the public for the first time in 2017 as Camp North End. In the past few years, we have invited people from all walks of life to explore the rich history here, and the possibilities that this place offers for economic growth rooted in community.