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Dandy Dave

Packard Plant

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Excellent video Dave. Watch it to the end guys...Sad!

Decaying America? (I just deleted this, but hey! It's true, time to stop the pc)

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Yes watch it all. Some amazing photo overlays then vs. now. Seeing any old structure like this makes me think for days.

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The Free Press web feature is amazing, easily the best thing ever done on the Packard plant.

That said, the complex should be bulldozed yesterday. It's a menace to the community.

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Some years back somebody had big plans for that place, they were going to spend millions on it. But the city decided to swindle him out of it and do some project of their own. Which never went anyplace. Now it is worth nothing. Way to go Detroit.

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Just curious,,,,Are the Pierce-Arrow buildings still standing???Cheers,,Ben

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Yes, it's really sad to see what was once a great auto builder end up as a derelict bunch of buildings. As a Packard historian said in the video, "it might be better to just tear the whole thing down."

Rog

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I would love to buy that whole complex if I had the money! I am so in love with Packards and yet it really tears me apart as well as others I am sure to see this once great companies old plant sit in ruins........

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A microcosm of what America has become..... on so many levels

indeed, that's why things like this really make a person ponder

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the "Packard" doorway and grille emblem from the bridge were saved. A portion of the proving ground (located just north of Detroit) was saved, is used and is in further restoration. Go there to experience the history instead of the carcass of the plant.

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Yes, it's really sad to see what was once a great auto builder end up as a derelict bunch of buildings. As a Packard historian said in the video, "it might be better to just tear the whole thing down."

Rog

No maybe about it. The plant needs to be gone yesterday. It's an incredible blight on the city. Frankly, I don't understand the nostalgia. The last Packard was built there nearly 60 years ago and it was hopelessly obsolete then. Well past time to get over it.

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Frankly, I don't understand the nostalgia. The last Packard was built there nearly 60 years ago and it was hopelessly obsolete then. Well past time to get over it.

Nostalgia is a personal feeling, and I am very nostalic over certain automotive history. These Packard factory pictures make me sad, but I still love to look at them, a time when the American Automobile Industry was king!

Many would consider the Packard a car ahead of its time too. There will be many Packards at the RM Auctions in Hershey this week. Let's see how popular they will be Thursday night. I will be attending! :)

Wayne

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The last Packard was built there nearly 60 years ago and it was hopelessly obsolete then.

Wayne, I think Magoo was talking about the plant's obsolescence, not the last Packard cars that were built there.

TG

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Tom, you're probably right. Sorry.

I just see all of those pictures of the marble floors and the marble fixtures and can not help but reminisce.:(

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I love Packards and I am as passionate and engaged in the pursuit of automotive history as anyone. What I don't understand is all the prolonged hand-wringing about the plant. It's a standing ruin, a blight. All my sympathy is with the people in the neighborhood who have to put up with the menace. It should have been demolished a long time ago.

Yes, I understand the plant is a piece of history, but there is history on every block throughout that entire part of Detroit. Go one block up and over from Packard and here is the Amplex division of Chrysler, where Oilite bearings originated:

1no9.jpg

Go a few blocks north up Mt Elliott at the Canada Northern yard and here is the old Gear Grinding Machine Co, where Alfred Rzeppa developed the constant-velocity joint -- and many other important inventions, too. Auto history is everywhere in this part of Detroit, but it's time to move on. Life is for the living. All these old ruins need to go away so Detroit can rebuild.

bw92.jpg

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It has been several years since I have been there. But at that time, there was no need to feel sorry for the neighbors that had to look at the plant. The neighborhoods around the plant are in just as bad of shape (including houses people are living in), as the plant. In fact, there was an old couch sitting in the middle of the street that we had to drive around just to get to it.

One of the reasons it was never converted to some other use is because no one would want to go to that area even if it was converted into nice lofts or a mall. It probably wouldn't even be finished before it started getting vandalized.

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Magoo, I'm sorry to get into this discussion, and I can understand your feelings. Can I remind everyone though that I am from Virginia. We still have buildings for the 1600's, not in the best of shape, but we are doing our best to preserve them to educate future generations.

I know very little about Detroit, other than what I hear and read. I think they have a long road before recovery. That said, if an AACA region ever supported a tour in Detroit, I'd be the first to sign up. An Ohio region has had local tours to old empty automotive buildings in a large city that I'd love to see. Wait, there is talk that a National Tour is in the works in that city. I will be there! :)

Sorry to pull this discussion in the wrong direction.

Wayne

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Wayne, no need to apologize, I did a double-take on the sentence, too.

Watching the video where water is pouring through the roof and down the columns reminds me of those "100 Years After Humans" shows and the structural decay water causes as it annually freezes and thaws, plus the havoc it wreaks on wooden beams and other structural elements.

For an aerial overview of what the plant looks like, go to Google Maps and type in, "1580 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI," then zoom in on the black hole on either side of E. Grand that is the plant. As you zoom closer, the image shifts from overhead to an angled view that speaks volumes.

TG

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For an aerial overview of what the plant looks like, go to Google Maps and type in, "1580 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI," then zoom in on the black hole on either side of E. Grand that is the plant. As you zoom closer, the image shifts from overhead to an angled view that speaks volumes.

TG

Wow, the only black scenery in an otherwise green (albeit rundown) area overall. I imagine everyone that lived there walked to work there. Is the Cadillac plant across the freeway still running currently? Looks like it is with all the cars in the parking lots. I see one road is "Cadillac Assembly Plant."

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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I imagine everyone that lived there walked to work there. Is the Cadillac plant across the freeway still running currently? Looks like it is with all the cars in the parking lots.

Billy, yes, that's the Hamtramck Assembly Plant built in 1985 and still cranking out Cadillac DTS sedans.

My great-uncle worked at the Packard Plant until Dec., 1946, and lived about 10 miles away, kind of far to walk. I started a thread about some papers and pics of his '49 Packard Club Sedan in this 2007 thread. I bet the large number of workers took buses or car-pooled to work.

TG

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I found it interesting that Wikipedia states that the Packard Plant was the first structure in Detroit to use reinforced concrete, and as late as this year has been determined to be structurally sound (yet some blgs are literally crumbling). I would think at the least the walkways over the roads would be taken down.

I hate to imagine it all gone with just a road marker talking about the "Motor City Industrial Park," though I do understand it's not feasible to save it.

If it were up to me everything ever made would be preserved forever. I'm a nostalgic person to say the least. My elementary school is gone, my junior high school is gone, and my high school is now a middle school (at least the building is still there.)

My next car needs to be a Packard now ;)

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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Posted by LINC400

It has been several years since I have been there. But at that time, there was no need to feel sorry for the neighbors that had to look at the plant. The neighborhoods around the plant are in just as bad of shape (including houses people are living in), as the plant. In fact, there was an old couch sitting in the middle of the street that we had to drive around just to get to it.

No need to feel sorry for the neighbors? Really? They probably had little to do with Detroit Proper's manufacturing base decline, the workforce (jobs) decline of 3 million to 700,000, and the city's attendant loss of tax revenue.

Posted by LINC400

One of the reasons it was never converted to some other use is because no one would want to go to that area even if it was converted into nice lofts or a mall. It probably wouldn't even be finished before it started getting vandalized.

GM opened the Hamtramck Assembly Plant in 1985 just across the highway from "that area" and it's still cranking out Cadillac DTS sedans, so it kind of weakens your premise.

TG

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