Friday, August 14, 2015

(Photos) Part two: Detroit's abandoned Packard Plant

Among Detroit's plethora of problems is that many of its urban ruins are visible from the city's major expressways. The 3.5 million square foot Packard plant rubble is among those monuments to failure.

Motorists on the the Edsel Ford Freeway not only get to see the portion of the historic factory, but some Detroit irony: two suburban auto dealers, Don Gooley Cadillac and Metrollis Chevrolet, have billboards near the Packard bones.

Here's a closer view. The sprawling complex, which was designed by esteemed Detroit architect Albert Kahn, opened in 1903 and it closed in 1958. After Packard packed its bags, smaller businesses moved in--not many companies need over three million square feet of space. The last one, Chemical Processing, did what many Detroiters have done over the decades, it moved to the suburbs in 2012. One of the reasons it deserted the plant was that many vandals and scrappers thought its portion of Packard was abandoned too.

"The area seems to find a new level of danger, and as time goes on, when you think it's hit bottom, it finds a new low," Bruce Katarski, the owner of Chemical Processing said as he left.

At its peak, Packard employed 11,000 people at this factory. Chemical Processing had 10 people on its payroll in 2009.

Astro Warehouse is gone. Note the "No Trespassing" sign. As for the hole in the wall--did the Incredible Hulk bust out of here?

Detroit's skyline--on the upper right--has been hailed as evidence of Detroit's rebound.

Last year the Detroit Free Press-produced "Packard: The Last Shift" was released.

As I explained in an earlier post, the illegal dumping of tires is citywide scar through Detroit. Tire sellers charge customers anywhere from $3 to $8 to dispose of their old tires per Michigan law. But black market operators will charge much less to "take care" of those tires. And those fire hazards and mosquito breeders usually end up in vacant lots, abandoned homes, or in this case, a courtyard of the Packard plant.

Part of the old factory was used for boat storage. Here is one that someone forgot about.

What's left of the roof.

A panoramic side view. Packard's slogan was, "Ask the man who owns one."

If you look closely at the photograph above this one, you'll see this Pacman-inspired graffiti.

Happy Friday--that's all for today!

Related posts:

(Photos) Part one: Detroit's abandoned Packard Plant

Detroit: Crumbling factory next to a cemetery

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

I walked its streets--the tragedy of Detroit.

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