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Detroit orders demolition of historic Packard Plant, derelict for decades

The abandoned 3.5-million-square-foot Packard car plant in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio/AP)
The abandoned 3.5-million-square-foot Packard car plant in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

A notorious symbol of Detroit’s industrial decay could soon be gone, after a judge last week ordered the demolition of the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant.

But with it also goes a piece of American architectural history. Built in 1903, the Packard plant grew to accommodate as many as 40,000 workers.

Its sprawling campus of sturdy concrete and brick buildings, designed by architect Albert Kahn, was once a wonder of industrial architecture for the ages.

Here & Now‘s Jane Clayson speaks with Claire Zimmerman, associate professor of architectural history at the University of Michigan.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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