The automotive industry is filled with dramatic ups and downs. Today, as some brands are building new landmarks to represent their current success, relics of the past are about to become nothing more than a distant memory.
Detroit’s derelict 3.5-million square foot Packard Plant is officially slated to be razed in about a month, following the city’s pleas to have the plant leveled last year.
Built in 1903, the now infamous Packard Plant was designed by architect Albert Kahn, who was responsible for designing numerous iconic buildings around Detroit that embody the Motor City’s bygone prosperity. For the Packard Plant, Khan employed a new style of construction where reinforced concrete replaced wood in factory walls, roofs, and supports. This gave better fire protection and allowed large volumes of unobstructed interior.
The current owner of the sprawling 40-acre complex says it will cost $6 million to tear down the Packard Plant. However, costs are expected to be recouped from the sale of the site’s recovered scrap metal.
“I am going to demolish the building,” said Dominic Cristini, the plant’s owner. “It’s unsafe, and it’s got to come down. I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I am just trying to do the right and responsible thing.”
After more than half a century of neglect the campus — which has become a symbol of Detroit’s decline — will finally come down. The plant officially stopped producing cars in 1954.