Judge Orders the Demolition of a Piece of Auto History in Detroit
Unlike GM, Ford, and Chrysler, the automotive company Packard didn't make it past 1958 but did leave a massive eyesore behind in the city of Detroit.
History of Packard Automotive Plant
The Packard Automotive Plant was built in 1903 on 40 acres of property on East Grand Boulevard on Detroit's east side. Packard built luxury cars for 53 years at this location before closing its doors.
If you ever watched an old episode of "The Untouchables" then you have seen plenty of Packards. A lot of the Packard vehicles were top choices for mobsters to drive back in the day.
The plant built some amazing vehicles from 1903 to 1956 except for during World War II when they built an engine for the war called a Packard V-1650 Merlin. This engine was used to power the North American P-51 Mustang fighter plane.
The Packard factory at one time had 40,000 employees including craftsmen who handled over eighty different trades.
So Why Tear Down the Packard Plant?
The problem with a factory this size that no one is using legally, is a lot of illegal use of the building comes into play not to mention a building that is not maintained that is over 100 years old and can be a very dangerous place.
Several businesses over the years have leased the property for storage and even a few businesses have operated at the factory but nothing sustainable enough to merit fixing the building back up.
It was estimated it would take half a billion dollars to restore the building and no investor wants to take the risk nor does the city of Detroit.
So rather than restore the factory that once built some of the most luxurious cars on the planet it is best that buildings on the 40 acres of property get demolished.
WOOD reported that Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Brian Sullivan said the building has become a nuisance and ordered the plant's Peruvian owner, Fernando Palazuelo, and his company, Arte Express Detroit to demolish all the buildings and remove all the debris.
The safety and welfare of those who live near the Packard plant supersede those of the owner who has no plans to renovate the structure.
Another chapter of the automotive legacy of Detroit will soon be laid to rest. Keep an eye out for some of these amazing Packards the next time you visit a classic auto show, they are still pieces of art.