On October 17, 1913, Henry Ford launched the first moving automotive assembly line at the Ford Highland Park Plant, the birthplace of modern industrial mass production.
Line workers earned $5 per day, twice the average industrial wage at the time, and sufficient to allow the workers to purchase the product they produced, the Ford Model T. The American middle class was born.
The beautiful buildings comprising the Ford Highland Park Plant were dubbed the “Crystal Palace” due to the openness and natural light afforded by the huge windows. Many of the buildings still stand near the corner of Woodward Avenue and Manchester in Highland Park, Michigan. The site has been named a National Historic Site, but up to now, there has been no public access. Until now.
The Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3), in partnership with the city of Highland Park, Wayne County, the state of Michigan, MotorCities, MDOT, and MEDC, has launched an aggressive preservation and redevelopment for the acquisition, preservation, and redevelopment of three acres of property along Woodward Boulevard including the historic Ford Administration Building. According to the WA3 plan, the renovated buildings will become home to the new Automobile Heritage Welcome Center, creating a gateway for automobile heritage tourism and a showplace for automotive technology.
The WA3 has reached over 80% of its donation goal, and every dollar it receives is matched by the state of Michigan with four dollars to a maximum of $400,000. The WA3 is soliciting additional donations from the Classic Cougar Community. More information is available on woodwardavenue.org and in the attached PDF (click the image above).
Comment by Tom Chaffin on 2013-11-25 07:00:21 -0700
It is interesting that a showroom at the former St Paul Ford plant is also about to be torn down. A local columnist is trying to save it as well. It was built in 1927 and is a very interesting looking building.