One Of Detroit’s Great “Ruins” Gets A Demolition Date

Detroit's Packard Plant, by flickr user Slavin

The Detroit News reports this morning on the demolition of one of the city’s icons.

The Packard Plant was designed by the great Albert Kahn, and built in 1903. It covers 3.5 million square feet. It’s been empty for half a century.

Among the so-called ruins of Detroit, the Packard Plant comes second only to the Michigan Central train depot in fame and importance. If you’ve ever watched a news report about Detroit’s decline, or seen one of the many documentaries about Detroit, you’ve seen the Packard Plant. When world-famous graffiti artist Banksy came to Detroit, he chose the Packard Plant as his canvas.

The Detroit News says the owner of the plant hopes to start demolition within a month.

Curbed Detroit says it’s “heartbreaking news” for fans of Detroit’s ruins.

The Packard Plant is an eyesore, and probably a danger to the public. But it also can tell you a lot about the creativity and resilience of Detroit. Even this crumbling monster is seen as a work of art, and an inspiration.

From the Detroit News article:

“In a sick way, it’s incredibly beautiful,” freelance photographer Casey Carlton said Thursday as she explored the edges of Packard.

Demolishing a long-abandoned, dangerously unsecured factory in a struggling part of Detroit can’t really be seen as a bad thing. But the Packard Plant will be missed.

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