Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 What is that huge factory along I-75? Previous Next
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Hockey_guy
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Username: Hockey_guy

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When traveling south on I-75, there's a large abandoned factory on the left, along the expressway. I've always wondered what that building used to be. Anyone know? I'm from Midland so I don't know what all the buildings used to be, but i'm just curious, because I go down there about once a month.

(Message edited by Hockey_guy on January 09, 2008)
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Detroitnerd
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Post Number: 1754
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

South of where?
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Brandon48202
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Username: Brandon48202

Post Number: 208
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You are probably thinking of the former Grand Trunk RR warehouse.

(Message edited by brandon48202 on January 09, 2008)
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 1986
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does it say "Russel Industrial center" in big neon letters on the roof?

How 'bout giving us a cross street to help you out?
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1037
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are we talking about the old Packard Plant area? That would be, what, a little south of the Davison exits I think. Russell Street industrial area.
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Izzadore
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Username: Izzadore

Post Number: 100
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

South of the Caniff exit? If not I'd like to know what that building ever was...
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Hockey_guy
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Username: Hockey_guy

Post Number: 9
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd say somewhere between davison freeway and I-94.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 1987
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No-Ahh ahh--the Packard plant is at 1580 E. Grand Boulevard, at Concorde. Portions are visible from I-94, but we're not talking that freeway right now, unless Hockey_guy is really lost
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1038
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Everyone correct me if I'm wrong, but in that event I'm pretty sure he's talking about the Russell Industrial Center, which I'm also pretty sure was the old Packard plant. Some guy was running a paintball thing in there for a while.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4523
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I bet he is talking about Russell Industrial Center.
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Kid_dynamite
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Username: Kid_dynamite

Post Number: 442
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Professorscott...The Russell Industrial Center is not the Packard Plant. The Packard is off of 1-94
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1039
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Then it's not Packard. The Russell Industrial Center somehow has its own myspace page, which explains a little:

"Russell Industrial Complex was built back in the 1915.Designed by Albert Kahn it stands as a monument to the strength and resilience of the city around it. The imposing campus , consists of 7 buildings and is located just off the I75 service drive in Detroit. Russell has seen a lot over the years and recently it is the proud home to over 80 various artists. It enables artists of all styles and techniques work space to develope, refine, produce, and sell their craft. For more information on reasonable work/studio space call us at 313 872-4000"

The missing piece of information, of course, is for what purpose was it built and/or used. To which, I dunno.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1040
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By the way I'm anticipating digs about the "strength and resilience of the city", but that was the strength and resilience of 1915, not a comment about current circumstances; and besides, I'm just copying what's on that page (bad punctuation and all).
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 4793
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In its heyday, the Tiers employed nearly ten times what the automakers employed. And they were located just about everywhere. Lots of abandoned buildings in metro Detroit were once Tiers. There's one a block from here.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 1989
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Russell Industrial Center was originally The Murray body plant, a body-in-white supplier to Ford.
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3rdworldcity
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Username: 3rdworldcity

Post Number: 1000
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Russell was at one time owned by the legendary NY real estate tycoon Harry Helmsley (wife, Leona, the notorious.) He boosted the occupancy to near 100% and there were many small tool and die, warehousing, construction and other light industrial occupants. He always boasted it was his most profitable investment.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1755
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Going south, the RIC sign is slightly obscured by a big DIA bilboard.
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Chris_rohn
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Username: Chris_rohn

Post Number: 379
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a ModelD article regarding the complex from 2006: http://www.modeldmedia.com/fea tures/russell53.aspx
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Hockey_guy
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Username: Hockey_guy

Post Number: 10
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks guys. Yeah it looks like it was the Russell industrial center. Now when I drive to Detroit, I'll know it's still being used. I always find Detroit so interesting because that's where by great grandparents came to from Germany. They worked at the ford plants, but then I think my great grandfather got emphysema and moved up north to Midland for the cleaner air. So much history in Detroit, it's always fun going there.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 4794
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Other cities had their huge Tier plants, too. Milwaukee had the AO Smith Company two blocks from my school that made 60% of all auto and truck frames used in North America around 1920. That plant was about 32 or so city blocks in size. There were other Tiers in West Milwaukee and West Allis suburbs that were even larger.

They're all dead today.
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Civilprotectionunit4346
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Username: Civilprotectionunit4346

Post Number: 577
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 5:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Probably they are talking about Fisher Body 21
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2202
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 6:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hockey_guy, download Google Earth--it's free!!
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Flyingj
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Username: Flyingj

Post Number: 74
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Brandon48202 Ugly architecture-the GTW Warehouse is only good for rotting pizza snacks;
http://brnation.d2sector.net/d etroit/ue_grand_trunk_warehous e.html
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Livernoisyard
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Post Number: 4797
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 7:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Probably they are talking about Fisher Body 21

Wrong side of the freeway. He said left side southbound => east of I-75.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1041
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 8:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY, thanks for all the great information. I've always been a bit curious about that area myself, and you posted more than I could ever have hoped to dig up about it.
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Hamtragedy
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Username: Hamtragedy

Post Number: 45
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 2:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Professor

Even though you were off by a mile, (not to be confused with a country mile), their indeed was a splatball safari in the packard plant during the 90's, not to mention many a rave.
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Sven1977
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Username: Sven1977

Post Number: 212
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Originally the Russell complex was a factory for electric cars. A number of different manufacturers built there. If you have a few spare hours, go to the OLD CAR FACTORIES thread and read to your heart's desire.
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Sciencefair
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Username: Sciencefair

Post Number: 43
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Russell is a cool spot, loaded with Art Galleries and studios. There's a gallery opening just about every month, I would encourage everyone to check it out sometime. The myspace page usually keeps tabs on events and open studios.
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Genesyxx
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Username: Genesyxx

Post Number: 839
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For the longest I thought it was abandoned (sure looks that way), but I'm glad to find this out. I'll be visiting real soon.
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1963
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 12:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The electric car company there was Anderson Electric, later Detroit Electric. They started there in 1895 building coaches and carriages, and electric cars in 1907, at 416 Clay, and stayed in business until 1939. Pages 7 and 18 in the OCF thread.

Murray Body, 7590 Russel and 1600 & 1975 Clay, from 1924 to 1955. Pgs 4 & 7 OCF.

McCord Radiator, as well as other parts makers were also located in that area, due to rail access.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1916
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

/quote{The Russell is a cool spot, loaded with Art Galleries and studios. There's a gallery opening just about every month, I would encourage everyone to check it out sometime. The myspace page usually keeps tabs on events and open studios.}

not to mention the new end of summer art festival and twice annual(-ish) open houses. some of the buildings are still vacant, including the largest one that fronts I-75 so it would be easy to confuse the whole complex as being such.
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Detroitbill
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Username: Detroitbill

Post Number: 414
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Russell is indeed a great place now, lots to see and enjoy with all the artists, glass blowers, small entrepeneurs etc.., so many people do not seem to realize this ...
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Downtownguy
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Username: Downtownguy

Post Number: 109
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Russell's website has an extensive history: http://www.geocities.com/russe llfreefest/main/History.html

Also, Real Detroit Weekly was the media sponsor of the 2007 People's Art Festival held at RIC. You can read their story on the current state of Russell Industrial Center here: http://www.realdetroitweekly.c om/article_3223.shtml

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