not all those who wander are lost

Finally getting some warmer and milder weather up here in Detroit, so one of the first places I always think of when I want to go for a long walk is the Packard Plant. In later years it has taken on a strangely relaxed park-like feel, where you often meet various other folks leisurely strolling about whilst gazing at the sites in the complex.

I went out on Saturday afternoon, and sure enough saw all sorts of people while I was in and around.

One guy I met was taking photos, we talked a bit and wound up exploring a few of the office halls on the north end. Great guy, just enjoying the nice day – and decided to check out the legendary Packard.

At one point I met some nice people while I was looking for my backpack. I got too “caught up” in what I was doing and set it out of view for a few minutes. These folks were prancing along drinking beers and having a merry stroll – not too much for chatting though.

Other people you meet might just nod and continue on their way. This happens a lot.

Sound like Grand Central Station ? Check out the footprint patterns in the dust. It is like this all over the Packard, a constant flow of people. I almost come to see the people looking at it, more than to look actually at it. The train station is like this too, but Packard is huge and open so it has more variety.

This is the top of the skywalk across Grand Boulevard.

Starting to cave in.

This is the other major skywalk – two lanes, two levels. Scrappers cut the I beams on the lower level and collapsed it.

Here is the view looking down into the collapse.

Here is the whole bridge from the side. That collapsed bridge is sitting on a public street, by the way.

9 Responses to Walking Packard

  • This is perfect for an “end of civilization or the world” type movie. A movie company will save a lot of money not building a set. It is ready to go. East Europe or the mid-east has nothing on this.

    And that hefty Michigan credit makes it all the more worth while.

  • thats hilarious. I wish they would have wrote it more clearly so that it would make a better photo.

  • Interesting reply, thanks…I did not know how bad it was ’till I took wife and son on a drive from greenfield village to downtown (RENCEN tour), via side streets, so we could see the city (as compared to interstates). We ‘heard’ it was a tough place from someone, but I felt sad instead.

  • What is the local reaction to this national story about “downsizing” Detroit?

  • Love the footprints. Well spotted and shot.

  • The I-beams were cut for scrap, I think. It just didnt work out well, as the bridge gave way before the beam could be extracted.

  • It has been in and on all the national magazines. I took a national magazine through, and they published photos of all this same stuff.

    People are not concerned with Detroit at a national level. However, they DO know what is happening here now. The whole world does. From local blogs to the TIME house in Indian Village to all the forums – all the way to the national and international media that has visited and interviewed locals and local media. Everybody knows what Detroit looks like now.

    Now the question to ponder is the lack of reaction. How could people knw this, but do nothing ? Is this possible ? I think the answer is – yes.

    So my question is, what is the result of letting this “condition” play out on its own ? We shall see.

  • Why would they cut and drop a section of building,
    and then just leave it? Seems like an intentional road-block, so some other act can go undetected?
    Someone should get all US congress members (house, too) to walk thru this place, reality check!

  • I saw a fire at the Packard Plant yesterday around 5:00-5:30. I reported it to the fire department and they came immediately. By the time they arrived, there were black plumes of smoke in the sky. But, they put it out. It was located on the west end, the facade facing 1-94 and Mt. Elliot

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