Why Is This 2-Story Building Home to 285,000 Companies?

Commonplace Fun Facts

There are certain addresses that just about everyone knows because of the wealth or power associated with them. Addresses such as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or 10 Downing Street are connected in our culture with more than real estate; they represent the power and authority of those who reside there.

In a world where money is power, shouldn’t 1209 North Orange Street, Wilmington, Delaware rank among the best-known addresses in the world? It is, after all, the home to some of the biggest businesses in the world. All told, more than 285,000 companies claim the unimpressive, two-story building at 1209 North Orange Street as their home address.

How did such an unlikely address become the locus of so many companies, whose combined worth is valued in the trillions of dollars? As they said in the 1976 movie, All the President’s Men, the answer can be found when we “follow the

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