Abandoned and in decay, one of Detroit’s iconic ruins is slowly being revived

Photo: Jason Margolis | The World

“The group Pure Detroit gives tours of the city’s gleaming landmarks. And its skeletons. That includes the former Packard factory — 43 abandoned buildings on Detroit’s east side, sprawling shells of concrete with graffiti and rubble. Think: Mad Max or a bombed-out city.”

Read more: https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-09-21/abandoned-and-decay-one-detroits-iconic-ruins-slowly-being-revived

Detroit, America’s most ambitious renovation project

Photo: © Trisha Ping / Lonely Planet

Loney Planet writer Trisha Ping wrote an article about Detroit and included the Packard Plant Project.

A piece of automotive history makes a comeback

If you’ve seen pictures of the ‘ruins’ of Detroit (or the movie Transformers), you’ve seen the Packard Plant. Read more

Packard Plant Tours

Photo: Pure Detroit

We are excited to announce, in partnership with Pure Detroit, tours of the Albert Kahn Associates designed Packard Automotive Plant! Tours will start Saturday, August 12, 2017. Please visit Pure Detroit Packard Plant Tours to sign up for tours.

Originally built as a 5 million sq. ft. manufacturing facility for Packard automobiles in 1903 and later reduced to 3.5 million sq. ft. across 40 acres after the development of Interstate 94, the Packard plant was at the heart of the Arsenal of Democracy in Detroit during World War II.
Learn about the past, explore the current facilities, and share in the vision of the future development and rehabilitation of this magnificent structure.


  • This guided tour will take approximately 90 minutes and you will be walking approximately 1 to 2 miles.
  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your tour start time.
  • The cost for the tour is $40 per person.
  • The tour has a maximum capacity of 30 participants per tour.
  • This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible nor comfortably suitable for individuals not able to easily maneuver around ground obstacles.
  • Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. Nobody under the age of 18 may take this tour. ID will be checked and verified upon arrival. You MUST have photo ID with you on the tour.
  • A waiver is required to be signed upon arrival. After purchasing your ticket a copy of the waiver will be emailed to you for you to print, review and sign. Otherwise, you can sign a copy when you arrive for the tour. A waiver must be signed by every participant. One person per waiver. If you are purchasing 4 tickets, you must have four completed waivers. Again, you can sign and print the waiver, or we will have available copies at the start of the tour.
  • Required apparel includes closed-toe shoes. No sandals or high heels allowed. Please wear long pants such as denim jeans.
  • Hard Hats are required to be worn throughout the tour and will be provided to you. Hard hats must be returned at the end of the tour.
  • For protection from potential rain and sunlight, you are welcome to bring an umbrella. There is no shade in the waiting area before and after the tour and a large part of the tour is walking outside.
  • There are dark areas where you may want to have a flashlight for better visibility.
  • Cameras are welcome and encouraged. The artwork throughout the facility is amazing as are the views of downtown and beyond so you are welcome to take photos.
  • Reusable Water bottles are okay. Disposable/returnable plastic or glass bottles and cans are not. No outside beverages other than reusable water bottles are allowed.
  • Pets of any kind are NOT allowed on the tour.
  • Children under the age of 18 are NOT allowed on the tour. There is nobody to watch your children or pets while you’re on the tour. Do not bring anyone with you that will not be joining you on the tour.
  • Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, scooters, wagons, and any other mode of transportation other than your feet are not allowed on the tour. We will be going up and down stairs, parking lot ramps and over obstacles. There are no elevators or ADA compliant ramps available.
In the event of a weather-related postponement of the tour, we will contact everyone via email to let you know and you will receive a voucher for a future tour. Rain will NOT stop the tour. Our biggest weather-related issue is wind.
All questions regarding the details of the tour must be directed to tours@puredetroit.com. Tickets are only available here at puredetroit.com and cannot be purchased in-store. Last minute ticket purchases are available on-site at the time of the tour only in the instance that there are no more than 30 participants already signed up for the tour.


We gather at the Pure Detroit pop-up shop in the parking lot of the former grocery store across from the Packard Plant Administration Building. The address that will work for directions on your mobile device is:
1585 E Grand Blvd. Detroit, MI 48211 (click the address for a link to the map)
Parking is free and there is a security guard present.

Tickets available to tour Detroit’s Packard Plant for $40

Ruins at the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant are seen on September 4, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

“You can now take a tour of the historic Packard Plant in Detroit thanks to Pure Detroit.

The company is now offering tours of the ruins of the Packard Plant on Grand Blovd for $40 per person.

The ticket will get you a 90 minute tour that covers the 40 acres that the massive plant covers in Detroit. According to Pure Detroit, you must be 18 to take the tour and you have to sign a waiver.”

Continue reading


How the 1967 riots reshaped Detroit, and the rebuilding that still needs to be done

PBS News Hour, click on the link to view video

“In the summer of 1967, the simmering unrest in cities across America exploded. In Detroit, tensions between the police and the African-American community reached their limit, unleashing five days of full-out violence — riots or a rebellion, depending on whom you ask. Fifty years later, special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports on what sparked it all and the scars that remain today.”

Click image to watch the video, the Packard Plant is shown around the 5, 7, and 8-minute mark.

Icicle Hazards

It was a cold start to the day last Thursday and these icicles were there to prove it. Icicles are just one of the winter hazards in the buildings.

Icicles hang from the ceiling
Icicles hang from the ceiling

There were icicles hanging down from the ceiling, covering up pipes, and dripping down the walls.

An icicle covering a pipe
Icicles hang from the ceiling

This one was making its way down to the floor.

Icicles hang from the ceiling

February Sunshine, March Wind

February and March brought us some extreme weather here in Detroit. On February 18th and 19th, 2017 two records were broken for unseasonably high temperatures. March follows it with an all day wind storm which caused record power outages according to DTE Energy.

While we weren’t out taking pictures during the wind storm we did get some photos of the warm sunshine in February. We hope you enjoy these shots of sunshine filling up the corridors of the plant. You can see more in the photo gallery in the right-hand column.


Sunshine in building 27
Sunshine in building 35