Our Building’s History

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WEB Realty Company is located at 25 Van Zant Street in East Norwalk, Connecticut. We are proud of the history of our building.

In 1923, 25 Van Zant Street was erected by Turner Construction as a factory for the Hat Corporation of America. Over 3,000 people were employed by the Hat Corporation, and to this day many families in Norwalk know the building well due to the employment of their family members. The Hat Corporation of America was the successor of Crofut & Knapp, another major hat manufacturer in Norwalk (it merged with Cavanaugh-Dobbs in 1929, which was taken over by Hat Corporation of America in 1932).

In 1953 and 1954, a 45-week strike at the factory shook Norwalk to its core, and settlement of the strike was called the “Biggest Norwalk News of 1954.” Although hat manufacturing at 25 Van Zant ceased in 1962, some of the original machinery remains in the building.

Over the years, changes have been made to the building to make it a modern business structure. However, the building’s exterior is the same as it was in 1923. The original mushroom columns remain, and are exposed in some places. The original integrity of the building remains intact, and the original footprint remains as built.

Recently, the Hat Corporation of America has been featured in museums, and the company contributed to the success of iconic hat figure Richard Borgia.