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Packard Plant
#1
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CCR
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Posted on: 2023/9/14 19:24
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Re: Packard Plant
#2
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fredlove
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Quote:

CCR wrote:
Just came across this that was posted today:

Packard Plant Demolition: September, 2023 Update. Cleanup Continues. gorilla tag

There's no reason to save that abandoned structure just tear it all down and build it something else

Posted on: 12/7 5:39
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Re: Packard Plant
#3
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tom abel
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many reasons to save our history and that building is part of it. some of the most beautiful automobiles made by man have come from that building.just like the cars we all have a passion for the history surrounding them should be saved.
i would love to see that building restored to its former glory just as i like to see any packard resurrected from the heap piles and junkyards.we need to preserve our history not only automotive but our American history when people actually took pride in their product and were thankfull to live in such a great nation.

Posted on: 12/7 8:35
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Re: Packard Plant
#4
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BigKev
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The problem is the building(s) have been set upon by scrappers for the last two decades. Anything of historic value was removed a long time ago. It's better to remember it in its heyday than it continuing to be the poster child for urban decay.

Posted on: 12/7 9:10
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Packard Plant
#5
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bkazmer
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I agree. The portion of the proving ground that has been saved and revitalized is the Packard history center

Posted on: 12/7 9:50
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Re: Packard Plant
#6
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tom abel
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was just giving reasons on why we should restore anyting whether a 41 packard sitting in a field or the plant it came from. once a car is crushed or building torn down thats it their gone for good.if elon musk or some other billionare wants to donate money to fix up the plant i say go for it.be carefull about terms like urban blight or decay. detriot is nothing but urban decay.however i have seen some historic buildings there have been restored recently such as the union station project and others.i dont feel that demolishing the packard plant would be that much of an improvement. remember one day a millenial or gen z government official may tell you to crush your 30s packard because its decay or damages our planet etc. as for memories they can age well or poorly,but for me i'd rather drive my car or walk into a small piece of restored packard plant than to just have a memory of them. im no building engineer so its not in my bailiwick to decide wether the building is salvageable or not.but over the years there were cars i was told to crush because they were not restorable but i restored and drove and enjoyed them anyway.its funny how memories of things change especially the further time moves us away from them.

Posted on: 12/7 14:42
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Re: Packard Plant
#7
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packardsix1939
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I agree that it would have been nice for the Packard plant to have been largely saved and repurposed, perhaps with a portion of it set aside for a Packard museum. But it was not to be. There were just too many obstacles in the way for a project like this to be successful, the main one being that Detroit has been a dying city for decades. From what I have been told, the neighborhood around the former plant is such a high crime area that it is literally like a war zone. You would not be able to attract tourists to come here let alone viable businesses which could have occupied the renovated spaces. Sure, I have heard about the so-called "Detroit Renaissance", but from what I have heard, the impact has been greatly exaggerated as it has really only impacted a relatively small area in the Downtown district. It is a shame, but many formerly great industrial centers in our country are in the same boat. Industry has closed down or fled, jobs have relocated overseas, and the tax base has eroded. People with the means to leave moved out of the city long ago. Buildings and infrastructure are allowed to crumble, so all that is eventually left is an impoverished, crime ridden wasteland which used to be a great city. I don't have an answer for this and I don't think anyone does.

Posted on: 12/7 16:08
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Re: Packard Plant
#8
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Mr.Pushbutton
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Lifetime Detroit area resident here, weighing in. Detroit has made some amazing strides forward in the past 10 years. Buildings throughout the city are being renovated that I never thought I'd live to see reused and restored, I fully expected to see a demolition fence around them one day and some yellow demolition equipment. Here's the thing: we were abandoned, left for dead when manufacturing died. Shoot, the abandonment started long before manufacturing died. Detroit's industrial might was one of the main reasons the allies won WWII, and won it as quickly as decisively as we did. Us, and Russia's ability to keep sending soldiers to the Eastern front. 15 years later it was a completely different story here in Detroit. Packard and Hudson plants were gone, Ford moved Lincoln production out of the city to the far, far town of Wixom. With the death of Packard and the consolidation of Hudson into AMC with their production being centered in Kenosha WI several supplier firms died.
The GI Bill provided financing for returned GIs to buy nice homes in the suburbs, have a little room between you and your neighbor for the first time. The city was just left for dead after a while. The easy money in development was over inside the 142 square mile city, and most everyone still making a good to decent living moved outside the borders. Every house that was built in Detroit from 1900 until 1950 represented (at least) one job. Consider this: in 1937 the Ford Rouge Plant employed 100,000mmen and women every day. That plant is still in use, give or take a new building for an old, and today employs just under 6,000 workers every day. THAT'S what happened to Detroit.
We have a saying her "Detroit vs Everybody" and we've adapted the attitude that we really don't care what people outside the region think of us.
We don't. Leave us for dead, go take all the jobs away and do nothing to replace them, then label any efforts to combat this as "Socialism" and we're out.
The Packard Plant was quietly there for about 40 years as a mixed use facility, housing light manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. I was a tenant for about 15 years. Then in 1999 a very crooked effort began by a speculator in Detroit real estate began efforts to have the city seize the property for back taxes (which were owed) using confederates in city hall, and the state of Michigan offices in Lansing to seize the property, have the developer's son's demolition company get the job of demolishing the complex using EPA Superfund $$$$$$$ connected by their Lansing operatives. The city evicted all of us tenants in the winter of 1999. They stationed officers from the Detroit Police Department gang squad at the main entrance to the plant 24/7/365 for a year and a half to prevent the owner's manager re-entry should he leave. He didn't leave. Meanwhile, the police-despite their constant presence there turned a blind eye to vandalism and scrapping. The demolition company began pulling down part of the plant and then it was discovered that they did not receive permission from the lienholder of the building. Oops. All laws in place on the books since the late 1800s insuring that property owners have their day in court before taking their land are bypassed, fast tracked. The vandals and scrappers had a field day. A judge ruled in 2006 that the building was seized illegally, but it was too late.
The 2008-2009 housing loan crisis hit Detroit especially bad. No one was buying cars, the big three could have gone under. It was game on for the scrappers and the city didn't care. The scrappers were setting fire to the building every day, to expose structural steel and the fire department said "we're not risking our men for that building-let it burn". In 2014 Fernando the smooth talking businessman came to town, announced that he was going to save it, restore parts, re-use the buildings in innovative ways. Those of us who live here were highly skeptical, and it turns out we were right.
It just needs to go away now. Nothing positive is going to happen in that neighborhood, which in light of the above IS the worst part of town. People live there. They've stared at that abandoned hulk for a generation now. Taking it down will be the first step in a long, long road to somewhere better for that part of town.
I invite any remote Detroit haters to come to town and I'll take you on a very real, non-chamber of commerce tour, warts and all.

Quote:

packardsix1939 wrote:
I agree that it would have been nice for the Packard plant to have been largely saved and repurposed, perhaps with a portion of it set aside for a Packard museum. But it was not to be. There were just too many obstacles in the way for a project like this to be successful, the main one being that Detroit has been a dying city for decades. From what I have been told, the neighborhood around the former plant is such a high crime area that it is literally like a war zone. You would not be able to attract tourists to come here let alone viable businesses which could have occupied the renovated spaces. Sure, I have heard about the so-called "Detroit Renaissance", but from what I have heard, the impact has been greatly exaggerated as it has really only impacted a relatively small area in the Downtown district. It is a shame, but many formerly great industrial centers in our country are in the same boat. Industry has closed down or fled, jobs have relocated overseas, and the tax base has eroded. People with the means to leave moved out of the city long ago. Buildings and infrastructure are allowed to crumble, so all that is eventually left is an impoverished, crime ridden wasteland which used to be a great city. I don't have an answer for this and I don't think anyone does.

Posted on: 12/7 17:49
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Re: Packard Plant
#9
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bkazmer
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Thanks for the great summary! The city’s corruption over a long period has had consequences

I lived near Detroit for a while until very recently
There are some revitalized areas and some sad ones. Indian Village always strikes me as a clearly once nice area fallen on hard times. And I’ve been to the Packard factory. I agree with MrPB - the entrance, the emblem off the body bridge, and some of the office materials have been salvaged. The rest needs to go

Posted on: 12/7 20:15
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Re: Packard Plant
#10
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Mr.Pushbutton
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Quote:

bkazmer wrote:
Thanks for the great summary! The city’s corruption over a long period has had consequences

I lived near Detroit for a while until very recently
There are some revitalized areas and some sad ones. Indian Village always strikes me as a clearly once nice area fallen on hard times. And I’ve been to the Packard factory. I agree with MrPB - the entrance, the emblem off the body bridge, and some of the office materials have been salvaged. The rest needs to go


The corruption took place while “the good mayor” Dennis Archer was in office.
I work in Indian Village. It hasn’t gone downhill one bit. It’s every bit as nice as it has ever been at any point in my six decades in the city.

Posted on: 12/8 0:51
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