Michigan Factory Towns In The News

Over the weekend, you might have heard the NPR story about a new project in Saginaw, MI. Artists are painting the lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s song  “America” on empty buildings across town. To many in Saginaw, and across the Great Lakes, the song depicts a familiar situation: leaving home to find opportunity.

“”Kathy,” I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
“Michigan seems like a dream to me now”
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America

Check out the Paint Saginaw project — and post your thoughts below.

Meanwhile, General Motors’ vast Willow Run complex outside Ypsilanti, MI is finally shutting down. Its machinery is being auctioned off as part of GM’s bankruptcy. To be sure, Willow Run hasn’t built cars for a while — its most recent use was producing transmissions. Last week, the handful of workers left on the job gathered as the final complete transmission came off the line. They signed it and sent it off to a museum.

Nathan Bomey of AnnArbor.com has the story and a slideshow about the 5 million square foot complex that has more space than Chicago’s Willis Tower and an indelible place in manufacturing history.

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