“You know that episode of Friends where Ross + Emily check out their dream wedding venue only to find it in ruins? Yet decide that the history and symbolism of the space is so important they’re determined to run with it anyway? With the elegance of a romantic wedding amongst a historic, at times dilapidated property, this editorial reminds us just a little bit of that scene. Instead of London, it’s Detroit, and the venue in question is the Packard Automotive Plant. Once the world’s largest auto factory, the crew at Mitten Weddings & Events, along with photographer Samantha Leigh Studios embraced its forthcoming revival with an industrial, yet glamorous take on Detroit weddings.”
Happy New Year from the Packard Plant Project! Due to avid interest, we want to share with you the work completed in 2017. Below are the before and after photos featuring each floor of the Administration building, 1651 E Grand Blvd. Exterior landscape cleanup and rooftop remediation. For the full slideshow of the Administration building go here.
In August, in partnership with Pure Detroit, official tours began at the Packard Plant. They were extremely popular, held four times a week on Saturday and Sunday. Due to winter weather, the tours ceased in December but will start up again in the Spring. For more information visit Pure Detroit.
In October, you may have seen a crane hovering above the Administration Building. That was the team from Comet Construction clearing structural steel and debris left on the roof from the collapse of the penthouse photo lab. This created a safer work environment for restoration efforts to continue on the Administration Building.
In 2017 we also focused our attention on 1651 E Grand Blvd, designed by architect Albert Kahn, future site of the Packard Plant Brewery. The Detroit based team from Qualified Abatement cleaned and remediated the interior and exterior space. Once the remediation was completed our landscape crew removed the overgrowth and debris. What an amazing difference and great work by both crews.
Arte Express Detroit and the Packard Plant Project have been busy this summer! Our amazing Detroit based team at Qualified Abatement is just finishing up with cleaning every last bit of contamination and debris from the former Administration Building.
Check out these great historic photos of work life at the Packard Motor Car Co. We wanted to take a moment to highlight these former employees, the backbone of the plant.
The two photos were sent to us by Michael Finley, showing his grandfather, Frederick Lyon. Lyon started working at the Packard Plant in 1910. He moved his family to a house on Medbury St. only a couple blocks away. In the photo below Lyon is on the far right, 2nd row from the top with a dark shirt and suspenders.
In the photo below Lyon is in the back row near the middle between the two men with bowler hats.
The next photo is from our Executive Director, Kari Smith. The image, courtesy of Anna Smith’s estate includes her grandfather Russell A. Smith who worked at Packard from 1927-52, Executive Steel Buyer for the last ten years of his employment. He is seated in the front row, second from the right.
Let’s not forget the ladies of the Packard! The photo below is of the office staff located in building 13, former Administration Building.
Thank you so much for sharing! We welcome all Packard stories and/or photos at any time, we would love to hear from you. If anyone recognizes a family member in these photos, please let us know.
Welcome to 2017! Many things have been happening here at the Packard in 2016, most of which were behind the scene.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and his team were the first to offer support of Phase 1 for the Packard Plant Project. This support directly assists in the abatement and debris removal of the Administration Building. Thank you Wayne County!
In September, at the request of Mayor Mike Duggan, we removed the exterior graffiti from all buildings in public view. An extensive area was covered in five weeks, as promised.
In November we received the anticipated approval from Detroit City Council for the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA). This enables us to move forward with construction activities of Phase 1, the Administration Building in the spring. Our abatement teams are currently on the ground, pending weather conditions.
In late January 2017, we are anticipating the final approval of the Brownfield Plan, having already completed the public hearing which was held at the Arte Express Detroit offices with full support from the community. This will assist with the massive abatement and debris removal efforts on site.
We hope everyone had a great holiday and a wonderful new year. Thank you for your continued support as we enter 2017.