The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Detroit

#2 of 16 in Historic Sites in Detroit
Historic Site · Specialty Museum
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a museum and former factory located within the Milwaukee Junction area of Detroit, Michigan, in the United States. Built in 1904, it was the second center of automobile production for the Ford Motor Company. The company assembled several car models at this factory, including the Ford Model T, which was created there and first produced there starting in 1908. Early experiments using a moving assembly line to make cars were also conducted there. It was also the first factory where more than 100 cars were assembled in one day. While it was based at the Piquette Avenue Plant, Ford Motor Company became the biggest US-based automaker, and it would remain so until the mid-1920s. The factory was used by the company until 1910, when its car production activity was relocated to the new, bigger Highland Park Ford Plant in Highland Park, Michigan.
The Piquette Avenue Plant was sold in 1911 to Studebaker, which used the factory to assemble cars until 1933. Studebaker sold the building in 1936, and the former car factory went through a series of owners for the remainder of the 20th century before becoming a museum in 2001.
The Piquette Avenue Plant is the oldest, purpose-built automotive factory building in the world open to the public. The museum, which was visited by 18,000 people in 2016, has exhibits that primarily focus on the early years of the United States automotive industry. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, became a Michigan State Historic Site in 2003, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
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The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant reviews

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  • The history and the dedicated staff are astonishing. We enjoyed the guided tour by a former Ford Plant employee who was funny and extremely knowledgeable about the company and its rich history and...  more »
  • Our tour guide, Tom, was fantastic! He has a great passion for keeping the Henry Ford, Model T story alive and well. We learned so much and got to see some amazing collector cars!  more »
  • Attended a wedding reception here. I must preface with the fact that I love museums and historical locations. This was a beautiful venue and you even have the opportunity to take photos in an old car. During your attendance at the reception. Only downside is that the second level does not have A/C however, given the nature of the age of the building it is expected. The 3rd level where the dining and dancing was held was air conditioned and allowed to cool off after the second level warmth.
  • Excellent display of early Fords in the factory where the Model T was conceived. Great staff an docent Tom. Wonderful deconstruction of one of the Ford cars to illustrate assembly process. Great parking. Really cool to stand where production actually happened. Great 15 min film informing museum patrons of Ford history. One may rent the museum for receptions, etcetera. Mega thanks to numerous people who have donated time, cars, and money to this museum and preserving such a large piece of our history.

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