The Docks

Established 1853

Built around steel and shipping, The Docks is the industrial epicenter of a city no longer built around industry.  Throughout the nineteenth century, lumber, grain, livestock, iron, copper, processed steel, and other metals flowed through the port and onto ships due for the eastern seaboard or Europe. The Docks made Central City possible, and until the city ceased to be a producer of primary materials, The Docks remained the city’s economic lifeline. 

A complex of piers, quays, warehouses, studios, manufacturers, and processing plants, The Docks was once a bustling port authority. By the late twentieth century, Central City’s port had slowed, and the neighborhood shifted to a slowly gentrifying area for artists and film, music, and television production. It is the home of Winston Studios, three record labels, and all four local television stations.

History of The Docks


Prior to 1853, Central City’s lakeshore consisted of little more than wharves and canoe launches, areas where small vessels could tie up or push off. In 1853, four warehouses were built with docks extending into the lake, hence the name of the neighborhood. 1852-1894: Competing Forms of Civilization - Government, Business, and Industry


Boa Mining built the first industrial scale shipping pier, allowing larger vessels to load and unload.1852-1894: Competing Forms of Civilization - Government, Business, and Industry


Dalton Fitzgerald founded Fitzgerald Horseshoe Company on the southern end of the docks. Fitzgerald later became a major manufacturer of tools. Multiple tool and machine manufacturers would utilize the steel produced in Central City.1852-1894: Competing Forms of Civilization - Government, Business, and Industry

Late Nineteenth Century

By the late nineteenth century, The Docks were a bustling area of production and shipment, with shifts working around the clock. 1894-1950 Development of Standards, Tradition, and Expectation


Central City Cement opened, making cement from the slag byproduct of the steel plant. 1894-1950 Development of Standards, Tradition, and Expectation


An investment group that included Dale Fisk and Charles Dirby established a shipyard in the Docks. 1894-1950 Development of Standards, Tradition, and Expectation


Wallace Winston founded Winston Studios to release cartoon shorts and commercials to follow the newsreels shown before films.1894-1950 Development of Standards, Tradition, and Expectation


Winston Studios released its first full length feature to great success. 1894-1950 Development of Standards, Tradition, and Expectation


Winston Studios released its first live action feature. The success of the feature allowed Winston Studios to develop multiple titles for film and television. 1950-1980: Counterculture

Early 90s

In the early nineties, Winston Studios continued to grow and consume neighboring properties. The southern half of The Docks began to gentrify as music studios and production companies purchased properties near Winston. The northern half of the Docks, near the port authority, remained a patchwork of warehouses and distribution centers. 1980-2000: Darkness/Crime


Winston Studios, a motion picture studio that originally specialized in cartoons and commercials, would become the largest employer in The Docks neighborhood by the late twentieth century. Winston Studios would eventually become a multi-media conglomerate and would replace the primary production that had made The Docks so important to the city.

The Port Authority sits in the north, a landing place for the harbor police and offices where civil servants record the comings and goings of vessels, copy and file manifests, and enforce customs regulations.

Two yacht clubs serve the wealthier citizens of and visitors to Central City.

Adgate Distillery continues to buoy the spirits of locals.

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