Abandoned Detroit: Fisher Body Plant    

Once a state-of-the-art factory, Fisher 21 is abandoned


Theresa Welsh

Across Piquette Steet from Henry Ford's original Model T factory building, where he hand-built his automobile, is the abandoned Fisher Body 21 plant. This is a large six-story factory building, located near the Chrysler Freeway overpass, that has been sitting empty for many years. The Piquette plant was designed by Albert Kahn, the master architect whose buildings are all over Detroit. It was first used in 1919 and in use by General Motors until 1984, one of many auto plants located in this area because of the railroad line that went through here. The Cadillac plant, Studebaker plant and several other auto related factories were nearby, and many of the buildings are still here.

This building represented a break from previous factories. It has reinforced concrete floors and windows everywhere, letting in light and ventilation for workers, unlike the dark and dingy buildings used for industrial work up to then. The floors could withstand the weight of heavy presses and use of concrete reduced the risk of fire. Each floor of this building contained heavy equipment and parts had to be moved up and down by heavy-duty elevator.

Today, automobile factories are built spread out, rather than built up in multi-story buildings like this one, but rather require huge tracts of land. Today's factories require not just a huge building, but huge parking lots too. In the 1920s when this factory was humming with activity, workers lived in the city and could use public transportation to get to work.


  Above are views from the exterior of the building.


  Inside the abandoned factory; the many columns support the reinforced concrete floors of this six-story building.



            Through the windows, a view of other industrial buildings


         Up on the roof... more amazing art work and the city spread out down below... What a thrill!


See more of my photos of the Fisher Body plant at Flickr.

See my webpage with photos of Detroit's abandoned Packard Plant.


 By Theresa Welsh

  • My Story  Detroit: From Industrial Giant to Empty Landscape
      It's July, 1967 and my wedding party was a riot.
  • Revisiting the Site of the 1967 Riot
  • Detroit: Remembering My Days as a Welfare Worker
       And How a Once-Bustling Neighborhood Turned into Empty Countryside
  • Detroit History: Its Segregation Past
  • Abandoned Detroit: Empty Houses That Used to be Homes
      thousands of abandoned homes throughout the city
  • Detroit's Auto Industry History:
       Abandoned Packard Plant
  • Detroit's Auto Industry History:
       Abandoned Fisher Body Plant
  • See MORE PICTURES of sights along Woodward Avenue.
  • Detroit's Abandoned Neighborhoods
  • Touring the D: All kinds of Abandonment
  • See Abandoned Schools in Detroit
  • See The Heidelberg Project
       Detroit Discards Become Unique Urban Art

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     Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle

     Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

     The Algiers Motel Incident by John Hersey

     Made in Detroit by Paul Clemens

    Detroit's Spectacular Ruin: The Packard Plant

    Detroit's Most Spectacular Ruin!
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