all who wander are not lost

Here is the southern end of the Packard complex back in the early 1930’s, with Building 39 circled in green. Recently demolished areas in blue.

Here is Building 39 last March – 2010.

And here is how it looks now.

Last March – 2010.

And now.

So where did the floor go ? What was down there ? Too bad somebody didn’t think to go through the building and survey the lower level before this happened…………

Okay, I did just that……..Here we go back in time – to last March of 2010, going through the lower level of Building 39

Nothing functional or that interesting.

A stack of boxes with rolls of paper adhesive tape.

I think you get the idea – look at the ceilings. All steel beams.

This is the only thing I ever ran across indicating past ownership.

9 Responses to Packard Building 39

  • The lower level ceiling was not very high, maybe higher than normal rooms, but not much. The ramps did also lead into the lower level. This building was used for manufacturing, i dont know about the basement area.

  • How tall was the ceiling in the lower level? It’s hard to tell from the photos. Was it used for manufactoring, or just storage. Was there a ramp leading down into it? Thanks.

  • It is also a pretty hot site, cadmium and all sorts of PCBs. Tossed my sneakers after that trip.

  • yeah nice aerial view there.
    there was a records loft up in Blg 39 before it got wasted which contained a lot more paperwork from J.E. Berger, lots of invoices with a spiffy engraved illustration of their blg in the upper corner.

    when originally built i believe this was the test blg for the Rolls Royce aviation motors during the war.

    there is a lot of great pictures & articles at the Skilman Branch.

    i did go thru that basement last yr(?) and remembered it being suspiciously empty. i say that because when i first started going there it was flooded partially and had a weird bleachy smell…also there was a SEVERE gas leak for while. i remember one day it was blowing out so bad you could hear the hissing a block away

  • Removing beams from that era building isn’t like knocking down a wall in your home. This took some time and equipment that most people will never operate. Then to free it from the concrete, not the average weekend job. Where the hell did the debris go? Can’t hall this around in the bed of a blown 1500.

    The first picture is lovely, it reminds me of a GM building that I’ve been working in currently in Pontiac. Hell, half the GM Powertrain resembles the desolation of the Packard Plant.

  • I assume you went there within the last couple of days. If so, are there guards still posted towards the north end of the complex off E. Grand? I rolled by last Tuesday, and saw they were still there, my guess is they are there because the Transformers crew may still be wrapping up production? Any ideas?

    I plan on doing some Packard exploring before it gets too cold, I also want to hit up the train station because I have never been inside, and I saw there are no longer guards there.

  • Well, it sounds like I better take a lap around the ‘ol plant for old times sake when I’m in town next month.

  • I dunno – City of Detroit impounded all the demolition equipment from the site due to demolition with no permits. I am not sure if this building is where the infractions took place, or if this is a different situation.

    Plenty of steel in those beams.

  • Looks like those beams already had the meat cut out of them long ago (given the rust around the cuts). Clandestine scrapping?