The Great Car Museum Tour: Packard Factory Complex

Detroit, Mich.
Friday, July 21, 2006

The Packard Motor Car Company was once the leading producer of luxury cars in the U.S. It’s factory and administration complex on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit was designed by Albert Kahn. It shut down in 1956, as the marque was going down the tubes.

The buildings survive… sort of. Now abandoned and subject of a fight between someone who claims to be the land owner and the City of Detroit; the city started and stopped demolition, last I saw.

It was lots of fun to find. East Grand Boulevard snakes through western Detroit, starting at Woodward Avenue (where the old GM building still stands), disappearing around the GM Hamtramck assembly plant and the Edsel Ford Freeway. On the southeast side of the freeway, the plant sits in the middle of a deteriorating residential neighborhood.

I just did a windshield tour of the plant, which spans East Grand. I left my hardhat in San Diego and didn’t want to venture inside by myself..

Factory ruins are plentiful all over Detroit. Very sad. EndFront Door
Makers of fine luxury cars haven’t passed through these doors since 1956. Since I visited, this entry has been auctioned off and removed.

Packard in '54

From a brochure, with the factory humming in 1954.

Administration Building
Packard’s Administration Building. The newest models would be displayed on the front lawn.

assembly building
Is there a non-broken window in the old assembly building?

Bridge was part of the assembly line, connecting the east and west portions of the plant.

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