HISTORY OF THE ASSYRIAN TIRE
Adolph Schleicher started his Samson Tire and Rubber Company in a tiny
wood-frame factory in Compton, choosing "Samson" because it symbolized
strength and endurance.
Adolph Schleicher, owner of Samson Tire and Rubber Company, embarked
on development of a new factory in East Los Angeles -- one that would become
the largest manufacturing facility under one roof west of the Mississippi.
January 23, 1929
Schleicher wanted to include a Samson and Delilah motif. Thus the plant
was modeled after an 8th-century B.C. ancient Assyrian palace including
a 1,350-foot-long (later expanded to 1,750) crenulated concrete wall decorated
with heraldic eagle-headed geniuses and bas-reliefs of Assyrian princes
carved into the stone between impressive pillars and towers. The design,
dedicated to the civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Assur, and Babylon, conveys
strength and style.
Ground broke for the $8 million Samson Tire and Rubber Company plant,
the largest tire manufacturing facility on the West Coast.
At the behest of Schleicher, the original architects (Morgan, Walls
and Clements) designed the wall in the style of King Sargon II's palace.
Sargon was an Assyrian King with a 23-acre palace and Schleicher's plant,
coincidentally or by design, covered the same amount of land.
The portion of the wall that fronts the office building features geniuses,
winged guardian figures. The plant entrance featured another form of genius
-- winged bulls with human heads (called lamassu)-- also intended
to guard the interior as those in Sargon's palace.
Samson Tire and Rubber Company plant opens with no public ceremony
and with capacity to produce 6,000 tires and 10,000 tubes a day.
US Tire and Rubber Company purchases and takes over the newly completed
Samson Tire Company.
Adolph Schleicher, owner of Samson Tire and Rubber Company dies.
US Tire and Rubber Company becomes Uniroyal Tire.
March 3, 1978
Uniroyal closes the plant.
DAON Southwest Company purchases property.
California State Historical Resources Commission approved the site
nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
City of Commerce purchases the property for $14 million as part of
an effort to prevent demolition of the landmark building.
Trammell Crow Company signs a long-term ground lease with the City
of Commerce Redevelopment Agency.
January 25, 1990
Trammell Crow Company breaks ground for a $118 million, 742,000 square
foot mixed-use project including a factory outlet retail center, five office
buildings, a food court and a 201-room Wyndham Garden Hotel.
November 23, 1990
Gretchen Schleicher Davis of Pasadena, CA, the eldest daughter of Adolph
Schleicher, wielded the same silver shovel and pick that she used at the
groundbreaking 61 years ago, nearly to the day, when the original Samson
Tire and Rubber Company broke ground.
Citadel (strong fortress; city within a city) opens its doors with
merchandise priced 30% to 70% below retail. More than 19,000 shoppers pass
through the mall.
** Data and chronology derived from the Citadel Factory Stores online at: