Detroit “Reanimate the Ruins” Ideas Competition Tackles Historic Packard Automotive Plant

1st-Place-2

The competition winning proposal, Cross the Plant, by Vincent Lavergne.

In 2009, vandals pushed a dump truck through a hole in the wall on the fourth story of the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit. (Of course there’s a video.) It’s a level of dereliction and decay that’s frankly common to North America’s foremost basket-case city, but it’s made a bit more poignant by the fact that the plant (built in 1907 and closed in the late ’90s) was once an icon of Detroit’s command over automotive technology and the automotive industry. The 3.5-million-square-foot facility was designed by Albert Kahn to produce luxury cars, and was the first of its type to use a reinforced concrete structure.

But now it’s time for some more creative thinking about how to use the Packard site.

Illinois Developer Plans To Buy Detroit’s Dilapidated Packard Plant

Midwest
Friday, July 19, 2013
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Preliminary sketch of a rehabbed Packard Plant. (Albert Kahn Associates)

Preliminary sketch of a rehabbed Packard Plant. (Albert Kahn Associates)

Detroit’s Packard Automotive Plant is one of Albert Kahn’s most well-known designs. But while this 3.5 million-square-foot behemoth remains iconic, it’s not exactly enduring.

Collapsed roofs, asbestos, and an ocean of debris (apparently navigable) are among the foreclosed property’s less attractive qualities. But Bill Hults thinks a $350 million renovation project could revive the plant, which closed in 1956, perhaps positioning it at the center of a metro-area rebound.

Continue reading after the jump.

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