Puneet Varma

Highland Park Ford Plant

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NRHP Reference #  73000961
Designated MSHS  April 17, 1956
Year built  1910
Architect  Albert Kahn
Designated NHL  June 2, 1978
Area  22 ha
Added to NRHP  6 February 1973
Highland Park Ford Plant
Location  91 Manchester Avenue at Woodward Highland Park, Michigan
Address  14522-14784 Woodward Ave, Highland Park, MI 48203, USA
Similar  Ford River Rouge Complex, Ford Piquette Avenue P, Highland Park Presbyter, Cadillac Place, Fair Lane

Highland park ford plant


The Highland Park Ford Plant is a former Ford Motor Company factory located at 91 Manchester Avenue (at Woodward Avenue) in Highland Park, Michigan. The second American production facility for the Model T automobile, it became a National Historic Landmark in 1978.

Contents

History

The Highland Park Ford Plant was designed by Albert Kahn Associates in 1908 and was opened in 1910. Ford automotive production had previously taken place at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, where the first Model Ts were built. The Highland Park Ford Plant was approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of the original Dodge Brothers factory who were subcontractors for Ford, producing precision engine and chassis components for the Model T. It was also approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the former Brush-Maxwell plant, which later became the headquarters for the Chrysler Corporation.

The complex included offices, factories, a power plant and a foundry. Over 120 acres in size the Highland Park Plant was the largest manufacturing facility in the world at the time of its opening. Because of its spacious design, it set the precedent for many factories and production plants built thereafter.

On October 7, 1913, the Highland Park Ford Plant became the first automobile production facility in the world to implement the moving assembly line. The new assembly line improved production time of the Model T from 728 to 93 minutes. The Highland Parks assembly line lowered the price of the Model T from $700 in 1910 to $350 in 1917 making it an affordable automobile for most Americans. Ford offered nearly three times the wages paid at other unskilled manufacturing plants.

In the late 1920s Ford moved automobile assembly to the River Rouge Plant complex in nearby Dearborn. Automotive trim manufacturing and Fordson tractor assembly continued at the Highland Park plant. The 1,690 M4A3 Sherman tanks built by Ford from June, 1942 to September, 1943 were assembled in this factory, as well.

As of 2011, it had been used by Ford Motor Company to store documents and for artifact storage for the Henry Ford Museum. A portion is also occupied by a Forman Mills clothing warehouse that opened in 2006.

Current status

The Woodward Avenue Action Association has a purchase agreement with the complex's owner, National Equity Corp., to pay $550,000 for two of eight buildings at the historic Ford manufacturing complex: a four-floor, 40,000-square-foot administration building and the 8,000-square-foot executive garage near it. The center would include a theater with continuous videos, informational kiosks, interpretive displays on automotive history and a gift/coffee/snack shop. It could also be a place where visitors could pick up historical automotive tours, such as the current tour offered by the Woodward group, "In the Steps of Henry."

In the media

The plant was used as a location for director Shawn Levy's 2011 Disney/Touchstone Pictures film Real Steel.

References

Highland Park Ford Plant Wikipedia


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