Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 52 yrs ago today - GM Tech Center officially opened Previous Next
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1625
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 8:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Today, May 16, 2008 marks the 52nd anniversary of the opening of the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, MI.

The inaugural ceremonies that were held at the Tech Center on May 16, 1956 included a closed-circuit television address from President Eisenhower, who spoke from the White House in Washington, D.C. Thousands of invited guests sat on specially erected bleachers to watch the ceremonies under a sunny sky on a cool and windy day. [photo]

The story behind the planning and development of the GM Tech Center campus on the west side of the railroad tracks [1985 aerial photo] is a very interesting one, which you can read here.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 2083
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 8:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

its a great place to work! :-)

i love driving in on a nice summer morning when they have all the fountains in the lake turned on, and the sun is gleaming off the design dome
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1626
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 9:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

During my 31 year career with GM, I spent all but 4 of them at the Tech Center. Over the years I had desks in 5 different buildings on the site plus I spent considerable time in meetings within 4 additional buildings. I was fortunate to have worked with a great bunch of people in an attractive work environment.
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Rid0617
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Username: Rid0617

Post Number: 118
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 6:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mikeg if you knew a man named Werner Nitschke who worked there that was my grandfather. He worked there from opening day till mid 60s when he had to leave on disability due to lung cancer. Only thing I remember was he had something to do with the clay models of cars in the future.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1628
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 8:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, I didn't start working there until the fall of 1970. I first worked at the Fisher Body General Offices and Central Engineering as a co-op student. Many of us co-ops would park in the south lot and walk in through the wood model shops. As a newbie, you quickly learned not to pick up that dollar bill lying in the aisle of the wood shop because it likely was connected to a length of monofilament line and you would become the source of amusement for a group of modelmakers!
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Blueidone
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Username: Blueidone

Post Number: 229
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 10:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mikeg..my mother worked at the Tech Center from its opening until she retired in 1985 or so. You may remember her as she was the lady in Plant Security who issued all the safety glasses and safety shoes. Her name was Eleanor. Did you ever meet her?
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1387
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 10:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My grandfather, Byron Voight, worked at Tech Center as a design engineer from when it opened until retiring in 1982. He worked on the 1962 Corvette, Cadillac interiors, and other things. He worked on the Firebird II in 1956, along with Bob McLean, Norman J. James, Stefan Habsburg, and Al Aldregetti.
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Blueidone
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Username: Blueidone

Post Number: 230
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Burnsie? At Chevy Engineering, do you know? If so, he would know my mom too. In the early days, she was the only female in the Plant Security Department. And my aunt, Lee Geigle, was executive secretary to several VP's at Chevy...including Robert Stempel.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1629
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 12:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, I don't seem to recall Eleanor. I did know some of the Plant Security folks who worked at FB GO in the mid to late 70s. I spent 6 weeks working on the midnight shift with them in the summer of 1975. I was laid off and they recalled me and others to fill in as vacation replacements for the regular security officers (normally they hired school teachers for the summer but with so many on lay-off it was cheaper to use us). After that experience, I understood why so many of the security officers wore shades in the morning while employees walked in to start their new work day - the officers were at the tail end of their midnight shift and if they "rested their eyes", no one would notice.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1388
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 1:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bluiedone-- Unfortunately my grandfather died before I was old enough to think of asking him about his career, but I think his whole time at the Tech Center was spent at the Design Center. The Design Center did the styling, showcars, and some engineering work for all the divisions, while each division had its own Product Engineering center that did the nuts-and-bolts engineering design work. Chevy's was at the Tech Center (formerly at the New Center location), Olds was in Lansing, Buick in Flint, Pontiac in Pontiac, GMC in Pontiac, and Cadillac at the Tech Center (formerly Clark St.).

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