Monday, September 28, 2015

(Photos) Detroit's abandoned Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage

Detroit has many abandoned factories and warehouses, some are famous worldwide, such as the Packard plant. Others less so, such as Detroit's vacated Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage facility.

Automobiles and anything associated with them fire up people's imagination, frozen food warehouses, well, not so much.

The warehouse, which is at 1950 E. Ferry Street, closed in 2002 and it has been abandoned since then.

Older photos show the name of the warehouse, but graffiti taggers have covered that up. "Division of Beatrice Foods" has not been obscured. Beatrice was once among the nation's largest food conglomerates. But in a 1980s leveraged buyout it was sold off one division at a time. ConAgra purchased what was left of Beatrice in 1990.

It's pretty disgusting inside.

Only unpleasant memories are loaded on these docks.

The black ceiling comes from smoke--either by way of arson are by bonfires set by squatters to keep warm. Maybe both.

"Door way--keep clear." Well it's kind of clear.

Clearly this building has structural issues.

It stinks at the Grand Trunk warehouse. The odor doesn't come from forsaken rotting food, but rather from America's largest garbage incinerator. When it was being built it was billed as an economic savior for Detroit. Man, you can't make this stuff up. Like the People Mover, it was another Mayor Coleman Young boondoggle. Trash stinks and burning it just spreads the smell around. Of course Detroiters are complaining about the stench.

The silver sedan beyond the holes in the wall is my car.

I can make out most of the words. The lettering reads, "Grand Trunk [something] and Cold Storage Company.

This neighborhood was an historic African-American neighborhood was known as Black Bottom or Paradise Valley and it thrived with black-owned businesses, particularly along St. Aubin Street. The color refers not to the people who lived there, French settlers coined the name because of the dark soil.

The construction of two interstate highways and misguided urban renewal projects destroyed Black Bottom.

Grand Trunk Western is a railway in the Great Lakes states that was heavily used by the Detroit automakers for transporting cars and truck out of Detroit. If Grand Trunk sounds familiar it could be because of the Flint, Michigan rock band Grand Funk Railroad. Yes, the rail line was the inspiration for 1970s rockers' name.

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