Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Trip Start Jul 07, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Sunday, July 15, 2012

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I went to the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant today.  This was the second Ford Motor Company production facility.  Ford started building cars here in 1904.  In 1907 the Model T was developed here in a room at the back of the third floor.  Production of the Model T started at this plant in 1908.  Demand grew rapidly and it was soon apparent that this plant was too small.  Ford moved to a larger factory in 1910.

After Ford left the building was sold to Studebaker who built cars here until 1933.  Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company occupied the building from 1936 until 1968 when it was purchased by the Cadillac Overall Company.  In 1989 Heritage Investment Company purchased the building.  In 2000 it was sold to a non-profit organization known as the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, which has operated the building as a museum ever since.

While the building is mostly original, anything else associated with Ford is long gone.  The production equipment disappeared a hundred years ago and sometime since the interior walls were removed and an additional elevator installed.  They're trying to reproduce Henry Ford's office and the room where the Model T was designed but information is sketchy.  They do have an impressive collection of early cars, many of which were built at this plant, but not a whole lot else.  You do get some sense of Ford and automotive history but not as much as I was hoping for.
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