The History of the real Packard Plant - Detroit, MI
History is a cruel mistress and looking at The Packard Plants present state, it’s hard to believe cars as beautiful as this 1934 Packard V-12 LeBaron Sport Coupe emerged from its doors in it's hay day.
Known simply as “The Packard” in Detroit parlance, the first stone was set in 1903, when the Packard Motor Car Company made the move from Warren, Ohio, to its new home on Detroit’s East Grand Boulevard. Thus was set in motion a tumultuous century-long existence that would rise and fall with the city’s fortunes. Designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn, the Packard was up and running by 1907, and quickly became a sprawling complex that stood as a testament to the sheer enormity and clout of the industrial revolution. At the company’s peak in 1943, Packard employed some 36,000 people, almost all of them in Detroit. In addition to automobiles, the factory also contributed heartily to both war efforts, cranking out aircraft and marine engines for the U.S. and its allies. The last Packard automobile rolled off the line here in 1954, and the last plant caretaker was laid off in 1958.
Packard Avenue 1930's
Packard Avenue 2010's
By the time the century came to a close, the Packard was ground zero for graffiti artists, scrappers, urban explorers, illegal dumping, raves, and would-be arsonists. Today she crumbles, remarkably beautiful in her urban decay; a symbol both of Detroit's proud past and current hard times.