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Old 4th November 2009, 01:15   #1
Ram
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Default Deteriorating Detroit -- the old Packard Plant

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USA's largest derelict industrial complex is the old Packard plant in Detroit.
This is a 35 lakh sq. ft., 1 km long building standing on over 35 acres of land.

The last car built here was a 1956 Packard !

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The old Packard plant (opened:1903; closed:1958) stands at
1580 East Grand Boulevard in Hamtramck, Detroit.
Location:
Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world!



This plant included Detroit's first use of RCC (reinforced cement concrete) for industrial construction.
When it opened in 1903, it was the world's most modern automobile manufacturing facility.
Its engineers practiced over eighty trades.

At one time the plant was home to eighty-seven different suppliers.

Today, all this huge rotting complex now houses,
is one small metal-coating company of 10 employees
and the ghosts, of what was at one time, the world's largest automotive industry.

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This last little company has been a tenant of Packard since 1958. They do phosphate coating, zinc electroplating, organic finishing and painting.

--- * ---

Today, arsonists and scavengers are facilitating the crumble of the buildings.

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Dismantling and making off with steel structural components and miles and miles of copper wiring.
Setting fire to the ruins that remain.

As the buildings are now structurally unsound, the fire department often leaves the fires overnight to burn themselves out.

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These production lines survived the Depression and retooled to produce military equipment for WW2. In the sprawling halls, 75% of the world's cars were once lovingly pieced together.

Then factory automation, job cuts; increased competition, job cuts; recession, job cuts; high petrol prices, job cuts; and crumb by crumb, Detroit systematically lost its name, "Motor City", and its soul.

It sombrely crumbles -- a fading memory of a once bustling complex of factories made of people, careers, dreams, chrome and white-wall tires. The smooth hum of V8 engines recedes into the sunset, in a gasoline-scented haze of translucent blue smoke.

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Old 4th November 2009, 01:28   #2
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Nice thread. was the factory deserted since 1958 apart from that metal coating company?. Please post more pics of the complete facility if possible
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Old 4th November 2009, 03:23   #3
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A relative of mine used to live pretty close to the factory.He said he'd been inside the factory once, but was chased off after some homeless people went after him mistaking him to be an arsonist.
I do hope that someday this factory would be revived to its old glory. Not gonna happen for the next 20 years, for sure!
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Old 4th November 2009, 23:11   #4
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Wonderfully put together Ram. What other factories other than Packard crumpled in Detroit? Give us some more of your amazing presentations.
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Old 5th November 2009, 00:49   #5
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an excellent thread ram.

links showing some pictures-

Packard Factory

Stoned Planet - Packard Factory - Detroit, MI
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Old 5th November 2009, 05:18   #6
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As a ex-resident of metro Detroit, I find the title unnecessarily defamatory.

Most outsiders dont know the story of Detroit and do not understand what is going on there.

Due to race riots, most of the white collar professionals and whites in general left the city of Detroit to suburbs to the north and west. Dearborn, Auburn Hills and Warren are te 3 suburbs where 99% of the R&D happens.

Its like reading about Old Delhi in a book and declaring Delhi as a horrible place while being completely ignorant of the fact that there a new and thriving New Delhi and NCR right next door.

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Old 5th November 2009, 08:58   #7
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For all the defensive talk about Detroit,
here is a picture of the main hall of
Grand Central Railway Station, New York ...

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Union Station, Chicago ...

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and Michigan Central Station, Detroit ...

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Let the piles of garbage and squalor and flaky plaster speak for themselves.

Interesting Detroit is also a National Crime Region like our own NCR.
Delhi - the undisputed leader in crime

The Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn area of Michigan has a crime rate of 1,220 per lakh. Only Sumter, South Carolina has a higher rate of 1458 per lakh. Source FBI
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Old 5th November 2009, 11:12   #8
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I just believe the way these factories were handled was what caused thses problems to arise.
If the administration intends it can get back the town rather than letting the tales which media spin crumble this town.
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Old 5th November 2009, 11:37   #9
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The similar opinion Jezza had (not considering his anti-american sense) in one of his TG shows (I think season 2), about Detroit, where he drove the beautiful Ford GT, I believe the packard ruins were where he ignited the engine before taking it to suburbs.
One of my neighbors came back from (Auburn) Detroit after a year, he also told stories like even the cabbies are afraid of travelling to old city side during nights etc.
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Old 5th November 2009, 17:59   #10
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What timing! I saw a picture of the exact same factory in the Fortune mag last night. Something very eerie about places that were once bustling with activity and are now "dead".
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Old 5th November 2009, 23:48   #11
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Default Waste not Want not

There was an era -- when the city that was the pride of America looked inward at itself and beamed. And now that legend is bygone, leaving a haunting beauty in the gargantuan scale of the hulking remains.

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Decades of opulence and luxury gave way to hopelessness and decay.
The plant, so lovingly built, once so productive was just abandoned, forgotten for the last 50 years.

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Some motherhood
When a population, disrespects and abandons Lakshmi and Sampatti on such a colossal scale to be vandalized, broken, looted and spoiled, small wonder it is then, that the economy should abandon them back in return as the economic downturn has done!


Once a grand railway terminus
This 96 year old railway station -- all 18-storeys, basement and 5 lakh sq.ft. of it with doric columns, oak panelling, brass fittings and so much marble and fine stone, were abandoned as lack of car parking space caused traffic to dwindle. And Detroiters had shifted from tram travel to driving cars.

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The property has changed hands several times after the 1984 deal, once even selling for less than $80,000. Talk about insult to the Goddesses Lakshmi and Sampatti


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley in Ozymandias

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Old 6th November 2009, 22:09   #12
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Default Here is the other side of the coin

View of the Rennaisance Center which is right in the heart of downtown Detroit. Happens to be GM's HQ ...pic taken from Detroit River. Other side of the river is the casino city of Windsor, CAN.
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:20   #13
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Ford Field. Brand new stadium built in 2006 for $500 million ..right in Detroit. Hosted Superbowl 06 which is the possibly the greatest sporting event in the USA. Its an indoor stadium with so much glass area that it feels like outdoors.
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:25   #14
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Comerica Park. Another popular venue for concerts and sporting events. Notice Ren Center in the background.
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Old 7th November 2009, 09:27   #15
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Ram,

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'm possibly one of the biggest fans of your threads. Each of them reads like a best-seller!

Its sad to see the auto-hub that made the car famous, come to this stage at any point of time.
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