The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant National Historic Landmark, the first factory built for and owned by the Ford Motor Company, will open for another season of public tours and events on April 3, 2013. This non-profit museum is the only “Brass Era” automobile assembly plant in Detroit that is open to the public. A small army of volunteers are painstakingly preserving this 1904 brick and timber structure. It was designed as a fire safe building by Detroit architects Field, Hinchman and Smith, now the Smith Group, the oldest architectural firm in the United States.
On the tour, see where Mr. Ford and his associates built Models B, C, F, K, N, R, S and then the Model T; the car that put the world on wheels. Each model was a technological leap over the previous. The Ford Model T would revolutionize the way automobiles are designed and built. After only six years, in 1910, The Piquette Plant had grown from thirty employees to 1,661 and was superseded by Mr. Ford’s giant Highland Park Plant.
During the nineteen years that the plant was operational, the time required to assemble a Ford automobile dropped from twelve hours to twelve minutes. The price of a Ford automobile dropped from $850.00 for a Piquette T, to $260.00. The Ford Motor Company created the greatest world marketing system in the automobile industry. Mr. Ford reduced the work day from ten hours to eight hours. Wages for a Ford employee grew from thirty cents an hour to $5.00 per day—the largest wage paid to a manufacturing employee anywhere in the world at the time. The “American Dream” of owning land and your own home, and sending your children to college drew immigrants to Detroit, from all over the world.
Out of Piquette, and Mr. Ford’s battle with the Selden Trust, grew the largest engineering society in America. Out of Piquette grew the Arsenal of Democracy that would dominate World War II military arms production. Yes, and out of Detroit’s automobile industry further grew the unions, assuring living wages, job safety and a comfortable retirement for factory workers.
2013 is the 150th birthday of Henry Ford, Automotive Pioneer. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant will participate in a year-long celebration of everything Ford sponsored by The Ford Motor Company, The Henry Ford, The MotorCities National Automotive Heritage Area, The Woodward Avenue Action Association and The Henry Ford Heritage Association. Celebrate Detroit’s automotive heritage and spirit of innovation. For information call 313-872-8759 or visit www.TPlex.org and www.MotorCities.org
Visit The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant National Historic Landmark right in heart of Industrial Detroit, in Milwaukee Junction, April 3 through October. Hours are Wednesday through Friday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sunday 12 Noon to 4:00 PM.
The museum is located at 461 Piquette Avenue, three blocks east of Woodward and three blocks south of East Grand Boulevard. From I-94 you can take the Woodward Avenue exit..
The Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, Inc. owns and operates The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. The Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, Inc. is an independent 501 (C) (3) non-profit corporation preserving The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant and is not affiliated with The Ford Motor Company. All donations are Tax Deductible.