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Fire at the old Packard Plant in Detroit!


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This is a weekly occurance at 1580 East Grand Boulevard, the place is abandoned despite the Michigan Supreme Court having decided to give title back to the owner.

No police presence (which is highly arbitrary in Detroit, when present) the place is a haven for scrappers, who like to make a nice pile of wire on the floor, douse it with gasoline and burn the insulation off, the cause of many of these fires. The DFD is dreading an all-out fire, many floors in the plant have tounge and groove flooring that soaked up oils and solvents during the 50 years Packard was in the building.

I am glad I organized and led the tour that was part of the 2006 PAC convention that went past the plant. I said then that it would be the last time a PAC convention could see the plant and it turns out I was right. With the doorways gone, the weekly fires it's just a matter of time before someone finds the cash to demolish the plant.

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We didn't go into the plant, just did a sort of drive-by, we were on a schedule. In 1982 we took the whole convention in parade formation down East Grand Boulevard (on the hottest day of the year) to the plant, parked the cars inside the plant area and had a ceremony to dedicate the Michigan State Historical plaque, several of us went inside that day, I got to go into Alvan MacCauley's office, which han't been redecorated since Jim Nance sat there!

I kept cars at the plant as did many of us locals. It was a great place to store cars until the city and its outside speculators began their dirtywork.

Well, at least I have the memories.

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