Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Help ID the Location of 1960 Photo Previous Next
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Car_nut
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Username: Car_nut

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 4:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm looking to identify the building and location in this 1960 Buick press photo. I have reason to believe it is in the metro Detroit area.

The letters on the building are of no help, as they've been intentionally retouched to protect the true identity of the building.

Please email me directly at gcockerill@(remove this first)wowway.com


1960 press photo BW
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Dodgemain
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Username: Dodgemain

Post Number: 208
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think it in the Warren Tech center. I'll try to prove it later.
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 1236
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 4:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL! The guy in the photo looks like John Astin (Gomez Adams).
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Markemarx
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Username: Markemarx

Post Number: 35
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 6:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with Dodgemain. The first place that came to my mind was the Warren City Admin. buildings across the street from the GM Tech Center.
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 444
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 6:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks like one of the courtyards at Design Staff, the famous GM styling/advanced design area off of 12 mile and Mound. I worked there in the 80's and it does look very similar to those different studios.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2485
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 7:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Love those tailfins!
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Hamtragedy
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Username: Hamtragedy

Post Number: 31
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 2:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is that an Electra?
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Michmeister
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Username: Michmeister

Post Number: 272
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 4:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dunno where the pic was made, but the drop-top sure is classy. They suuuuuure don`t build `em like that anymore.
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Car_nut
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Username: Car_nut

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 12:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for all the ideas...please keep 'em coming. I will also check out the Tech Center buildings. If it was the Warren City buildings, I'm probably out of luck, as I think they've razed them and built new ones.

By the way, it's not an Electra...this is a LeSabre. Hard to believe it was the smallest and cheapest Buick in 1960, huh?

I have one exactly like it, and want to photograph the car in the same setting, if possible.

Anyone that's interested in seeing more pictures and reading about 1960 Buicks is welcome to checkout my website, www.the1960buick.com
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Hamtragedy
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Username: Hamtragedy

Post Number: 33
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 8:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanx carnut. The other angles indicate it to be slightly smaller than the picture at the top of this thread. I looked further at your link at found the '70 225. Pretty. I grew up drivin' my dad's 69 225 (430, 4bbl, metallic blue with black top, accelerator as big as Bob Lanier's size 22 shoes). When my 75 Catalina would die, I'd occasionally wind up driving the 225, parking in front of Renaissance High School. Needless to say, I gave several friends rides home in that because it was a bad MF**** ride in 1984. My younger brother bought a conv 1964 225 from a guy in the UP about 10 years ago, drove it down to TX where he lived, then sold it to a guy in
Columbus, O a couple years ago. But that 69 was sweet.

There is a white conv 69 225that frequents outer drive btw. schaefer and fenkell. I see it occasionally. Then this summer I saw someone driving a burgundy 68 225 with historic plates at 8 mile and southfield. They are hard to miss.
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Car_nut
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Username: Car_nut

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 7:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some Buick club members suggested this could be at a building in Flint's Cultural Center complex. This seemed plausible since another similar 1960 Buick press photo, is taken at the DeWaters Art Museum in the Cultural Center.

I've personally driven through that area looking for the building with no luck, but wondered if it could have been razed or remodeled. Acting on a suggestion, I contacted the Sloan Museum.

The response from the curator of the Sloan museum is that he's quite certain this convertible pix was NOT taken on the grounds of the Flint Cultural Center. He suggests (as some of you did) it may be at GM Tech Center. That's my next stop. Stay tuned....
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Kenp
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Username: Kenp

Post Number: 960
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 8:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I definitely looks familiar to me, I think it may be the Flint Institute of Arts before it was remodeled. I will look for some pics.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1246
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 11:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That pic was definitely not taken anywhere at the Flint Cultural Center. I have seen all sides of every building at the Center, have studied aerial photos taken through the decades of the area, and practically memorized each building's exterior as a kid, growing up a few blocks away.

The building also matches nothing at Buick's Flint complex.
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Hornist9
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Username: Hornist9

Post Number: 73
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 11:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Car_nut,

If you're still looking for a convertible top for your beautiful car, check out Shelby Trim on Mound Rd. in Sterling Hgts. I had them replace the carpeting in my 84 Cavalier Convertible, add new window belt moldings, readjust and lube the power windows so they would match and seal off my top.

My car is no where near the beauty yours is. Mine has almost 200,000 miles on it. It was my father in law's and he wanted me to have it when he had to go into assisted living. I eventually would like to restore it, but that's a long way down the line. Finding parts is going to be a real pain, because Cavaliers aren't a "sexy" ride.

I would love to see your Buick. What a gem!
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3496
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 12:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great pic! I had a '59 Buick Invicta for quite awhile. It was a fun car to drive, with a lot of power.

(Message edited by Fury13 on January 04, 2008)
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Hpgrmln
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Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 332
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 8:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"because Cavaliers aren't a "sexy" ride."

My old Z24 was a babe magnet. Girls liked that car.I still miss it. Black with a grey interior and an exhaust rumble. Reminded me of a toned-down Buick Grand National.
Trust me, that Cavalier was COOL!
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 375
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah... I have a '94 Sunfire GT convertible. It was styled as the little bro' of the Firebird.

Women really like that car.

(Message edited by jrvass on January 05, 2008)
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 1675
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 11:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Find the place yet?
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Jonesy
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Username: Jonesy

Post Number: 433
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 8:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm fairly certain that's GM's R&D building on the Tech Center campus.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1381
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I doubt that this photo was taken at the GM Tech Center. Most TC buildings have their covered entrances on the sides of the building where there are multiple stories and glazed brick exteriors, plus the entrance lobbies are enclosed in glass. If memory serves, there are some one-story exterior sections of TC buildings that resemble the exterior "panel" type construction seen in the photo, but they were mostly corridors connecting larger sections of buildings and contained no entrances with steps or canopies.

TC aerial
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1382
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a blow-up showing the GM Research building entrance:

gmr
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 957
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On the canvas covered entrance I make out something like "Dix & Mill Entrance"? (I wear glasses)
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Hpgrmln
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Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 334
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 8:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The poster said the letters were retouched, so "Dix and Mill" wouldn't mean much BUT....
THERE IS a Dix/Mill intersection in Lincoln Park.
It sure isn't Dix and Miller, since thats a FORD plant. No Buicks allowed there I'm sure.
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Car_nut
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Username: Car_nut

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Still haven't pinned it down.

I'm getting a lot of input that it is at Flint Cultural Center, but PRIOR to remodeling that has taken place over the years. Many responses say it is Flint Art Institute, but the ATTACHED photo is in front of the Art Institute, and you can see it is clearly different building from the convertible photo.

I've looked closely inside GM Tech Ctr. Although there are many buildings of similar style, none match and most are 3 or more stories. Building in convertible pix is only 1 or 2 stories.




1960 Buick wagon
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Janesback
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Username: Janesback

Post Number: 418
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 6:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

2 unique things about that Buick. It has the tilt speedometer mirror that you can adjust for your heighth. Also, when you start it, you use the gas pedal after you turn the key to on. My grandparents had the 1960 Buick 225 Electra with I think a 445 Wildcat, not sure about the numbers, 455?

Silver with a white top. Drove like a dream....... Jane
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3541
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was called the Wildcat 445 engine because of its torque rating, an engine-naming practice that all of the U.S. auto manufacturers indulged in during that period (other examples: Plymouth's Golden Commando 395, Edsel's E-475).

The Wildcat 445 was the famous Buick 401 V-8.
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Car_nut
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Username: Car_nut

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Janesback,
You are referring to the Mirro-Magic instrument panel, a novelty that carried over to the 1961 Buicks before being dropped.

The "gas pedal" starter switch (actually on the carburetor, but actuated by pedal) was a unique Buick feature since the 1930s. The final year for this feature was 1960.

Lastly, Fury13 is correct about the engines. My LeSabre, for example, has the Wildcat 384, which is a 364 cube V8 with "384" lb-ft of torque. It was misleading and confusing practice, as even today (nearly 50yrs after the fact), I see people claim their Buick has a 445 cubic inch engine!
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Car_nut
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Username: Car_nut

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

THE MYSTERY IS SOLVED!

Special thanks to David White at Kettering University Archives for identifying the mystery building.

Turns out the building is on the campus of the Mott Community College in Flint (formerly Flint Junior College). This makes sense, since this site is adjacent to the Flint Cultural Center where several other of the 1960 Buick press photos were taken.

The building is called the Durham Natatorium. I've been told it was originally built in the mid-50s, as the "Cady B. Durham Natatorium". Note that this name exactly fits the obscured lettering on the Buick press photo.

The building still stands, but the exterior was extensively remodeled about 15yrs ago. Here's a photo of it taken this week.

Comparing to the 1960 Buick press photo, it's not immediately obvious that they're the same. But despite the remodeling, it still has the unique stairways (one up; one down), the same roof, and the same profile of the foundation (note the location of the basement ventilator duct on far left of building).

Unfortunately, the changes in the building mean I won't be able to recreate the original photo scene with my car.

Thanks to all posters for the help and suggestions! It has been a fun search.

Durham Natatorium 2008
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5970
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 3:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amazing rennovation. Now we are in a brick mode, eh. Note how heavy the covered entrance is today.

Car nut, yes, your fans demand a photo of you and the vehicle in question in a current shot.

Thanks for the tip on the basement ventilator duct. That's the dead givaway. Good work on research.

jjaba, on the Westside.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3588
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Terrible remodeling job on that building. It was so much cleaner looking before.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5972
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fury13, so you don't like the "googie" archtecture of the 1950-60s?

jjaba, mid-century modernist.
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Kenp
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Username: Kenp

Post Number: 985
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I knew I recognized that building, I wonder when it was changed. This mystery has been bugging me for quite sometime.
I spent time on that campus in the late 70's, but as a kid spent a lot of time in the cultural area from the mid 60's on.
Thanks for the info Car_nut
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3591
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jjaba, I do like mid-century in some contexts. I think a lot of it is throwaway in nature, but I especially like commercial "googie" as used on diners, coffee shops, motels, drive-ins, and such. I don't like it so much in residential uses.

However, in this case, the original '50s look of the building was so much nicer. I think the '80s might have been the nadir for American architecture.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5978
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fury13, anything but the "brutalism" of the 1970s. Those concrete monsters were plumb bad.

jjaba.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2572
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 5:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Architecture? What do I know about architecture? I live in Las Vegas. Anything gets to be twenty years old, we blow it up.



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Eastsidedame
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Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 190
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 2:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I miss that cantilever roof. It gave it class. Now the building's pretty much a box.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2719
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 11:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

CarNut: This thread has been quite interesting as we've spent some time in the last couple years checking out the Flint automotive sites (including the cultural center and Mott CC campus since the auto execs there are so closely aligned with their development) as well as the GM Tech Center. You are to be commended for your tenacity in tracking down that site! Please do post a photo of you and your car.

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