Friday, December 19, 2008

Packard - When the Cars Go Away

There's an interesting article in The New York Times about the demise of Packard and its barren headquarters in Michigan.

"In its day, when Detroit was the Silicon Valley of the early 20th century, the Packard complex was a center for innovation. In 1905, the architect Albert Kahn designed Building No. 10 with reinforced steel concrete, creating an airy, spacious workspace. Such construction revolutionized the building of factories around the world.

The demise of Packard took place as the city’s industrial base was beginning to unravel. Other notable firms that folded or merged in that era included the Hudson Motor Car Company, Murray Body, Motor Products and Detroit Stove Works. By the end of the 1950s, unemployment had soared, white flight was under way and Detroit’s downward spiral had begun.

Misery has rarely been mentioned as a reason to pass an auto industry bailout. But walk through the Packard plant on a December day and you will know that once a car company disappears, in southeast Michigan at least, nothing comes along to take its place."

See the full article on NY

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