Monday, February 08, 2016
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Wednesday, 5/7/2014


Blending past and future

For years, thousands of commuters on Woodward Avenue in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park have driven past a sturdy, red-brick building, long-closed but not a ruin. Few of them likely suspect this was the place where modern industrial America was born.

A century ago, this was the Albert Kahn-designed world headquarters of Ford Motor Co. Millions of Model Ts roared out of the factory behind this building, putting America on wheels. But the automaker left long ago, and in the years since, nothing has been done with one of the most important sites in transportation history — until now.

Last month, a nonprofit group called the Woodward Avenue Action Association bought the building, which it intends to convert by 2018 into a museum and mixed-use development.

Group members hope their effort will help spur economic growth in Highland Park, which is grimmer than Detroit. The idea is both to honor history and to use the latest in green technology to help build a future.

One proposal would have a hologram of Henry Ford conducting tours. True, he once said that “history is more or less bunk.” But if this project works out, we think his spirit would be pleased.

Recommended for You

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories