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Known as the manufacturing plant and home to the world-famous Life Savers candy, the Life Savers Building is a testament to the industrial production of the 20th century. Built in 1920 and expanding over the decades, the building and location served as the company's main headquarters until 1984, producing an impressive amount of sweets along the way. Since then it has been converted to a complex of condominiums.


  • Life Savers Building Exterior
  • Life Savers Building Exterior (Exact Date Unknown)
  • Drawing of Building
  • Candy Decoration on Side of Building
  • Main Building Entrance

Before the famous Live Savers brand, the candy was originally known as Crane's Peppermint Life Savers. In 1912 a chocolate manufacturer by the name of Clarence A. Crane got the idea to manufacture and sell hard mints. But he wanted to make sure his mints were stood out from the rest on the market, so he got the idea to mold his mints in the shape of rings. One year after he began making his circular mints, he was approached by two businessmen (Edward J. Noble & J. Roy Allen) and sold the rights to his Life Savers candy.

After purchasing the company for $2,900 “Noble and Allen soon discovered one reason why Peppermint Life Savers were not selling well. Packed in cardboard tubes, they lost their flavor after only a week or so. The partners devised an airtight foil package that greatly extended the product’s shelf life.”1 This, plus creative and unrelenting marketing, eventually helped boost the sales of the candy. The headquarters at the time was located in New York City but not long after the re-envisioned candy was released, demand became so high that a larger facility was needed for production. “The proprietors found an ideal site in Port Chester, with easy access to Route 1 and the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. A leading firm of industrial engineers, Lockwood, Greene and Company, was hired to design the new building, which was complete in 1920.”2 Following its completion in 1920, only one major addition to the building was constructed in 1948. 

The building itself is five stories high and is constructed mostly of concrete, with terra-cotta detailing in the shape of candies scattered across the buildings exterior. “The life savers building is basically a plain, rectangular box, but it's whimsical, loosely neoclassical decoration sets it apart from the usual factory. Scattered across its facades are what at first look like Roman wreaths but are in fact oversize Life Savers. The whole exterior was conceived as an advertisement for the products made inside.”3 

While the exterior of the building is very visually pleasing, the interior is all business. On the first floor through the main doors is a “reception desk/switchboard and a glass-walled built-in showcase for product display. . . . On the remainder of the first floor and on the second through the fifth floors, accessed by two elevators and a metal industrial staircase, spaces include corridors, laboratories, and large-span working spaces.”4 The space within the facility was also able to house anywhere from 500-600 employees by the time of its height in 1980 which means production was of no issue once the company settled in the Port Chester location. 

Following its peak in 1980, the candy market started to change. A societal move towards sugarless candies began gaining popularity and “began to alter the Life Savers market; the business was further affected by rising overhead and labor costs.”5 This ultimately led to the company closing the Port Chester location in 1983 and moving the production of Life Savers candies to their Michigan plant. But the building has a new life as a condominium complex today. “Through adaptive development as a residential structure, the Life Savers Building will continue to contribute to the streetscape and economy of the village of Port Chester as well as recalling an important episode in the history of Westchester County.”6 The structure was added to the National Register in 1985.

  1. Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County . Elmsford , NY. Westchester County Historical Society , 2003.
  2. Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County . Elmsford , NY. Westchester County Historical Society , 2003.
  3. Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County . Elmsford , NY. Westchester County Historical Society , 2003.
  4. Larson, Neil . Life Savers Building. National Register of Historic Places Inventory. Published March 1st 1985.
  5. Larson, Neil . Life Savers Building. National Register of Historic Places Inventory. Published March 1st 1985.
  6. Larson, Neil . Life Savers Building. National Register of Historic Places Inventory. Published March 1st 1985.
Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_LifeSavers_Building.jpg

https://larchmontloop.com/building-of-the-week-lifesavers-factory-2/

http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/life-savers-building-port-charles-ny.html

http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/life-savers-building-port-charles-ny.html

http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/life-savers-building-port-charles-ny.html