Iconic Packard plant bridge in Detroit collapses
It was part of the plant's assembly line crossing East Grand Boulevard.
If you’ve seen photos or videos of dilapidated factories from Detroit in the last 30 years or so, the odds are good it was the old Packard plant. Located just a few miles north of downtown near GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant, the ruins of the once-great factory came to represent the decline of the Motor City.
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Today, the iconic bridge spanning East Grand Boulevard – which once connected the assembly line between the north and south buildings – collapsed onto the roadway. Thankfully, nobody was injured, but the failure was particularly hard for our good friends at Motor1.com. That's because they spent a few years literally working right next door to it.
The Packard Plant bridge over the Boulevard has collapsed in #Detroit#breakingpic.twitter.com/dfuRMAaMpF— HistoricDetroit.org (@HistoricDET) January 23, 2019
Here’s a bit of backstory on this utterly ruined, yet remarkable factory. Construction began shortly after the turn of the century – as in the 20th century – and the facility officially opened in 1911. At the time it was nothing short of an engineering marvel, and it remained a beacon of the Motor City for decades. It closed with Packard’s demise in 1958, and though a few companies remained in the complex through 2010 (using it primarily for storage) the factory itself was simply left to the elements for 60 years.
Eventually the scavengers came, then the vandals, the graffiti artists, the ravers, and in a strange way, the old factory evolved to become a strange kind of urban symbol for the resilience of Detroit – the city and its people. Beaten, broken, but still standing.
For the longest time, the bridge over East Grand Boulevard was an open framework ravaged by time. As developers began to take interest in repurposing the site, large wraps showing the bridge as it was during its golden years were installed on either side.
Motor1.com’s Detroit office was located in an office building next to the factory, and every single day they'd pass under the bridge. In fact, many auto journalists and motoring enthusiasts have passed beneath that bridge, including the former Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber and fan of the presenters, you saw the bridge just last week on the season three premiere of The Grand Tour.
After decades of neglect, ambitious plans to completely renovate the old plant are underway. At least, they’re supposed to be underway. The historic facility has seen plenty of would-be investors with “big plans” come and go over the last 20 years, but some progress is being made. Arte Express purchased the property in 2013 and clean-up of the area is ongoing as part of the Packard Plant Project. New development, however, hasn’t transpired yet.
Source: HistoricDetroit.org via Twitter
Classic Cars for Sale
For 1955, The Packards top of the line 2 door hardtop was given the 400 moniker. Easily identifiable by the full color band running along the lower portion of the car, topped by a partial color band that truncated along the rear edge of the front doors. The “Four Hundred” in gold anodized script adorn the front band between the front wheel well and the door edge. This believed to be 83K mile,
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Legendary Packard prestige and luxury made affordable was the 250's mission in 1951, and as this elegant, sporting convertible demonstrates, it's just as true today. Only 2572 Series 250 convertibles were built in 1951, making this a rare car with legendary straight-8 power and undeniable Packard presence. The all-new 250 was designed to be a low-cost Packard, but everything's relative