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Fisher Body Plant 21

Sitting at the corner of Piquette and Hastings is a white seven story building, with most of the windows missing. At first glance, it looks like many other neglected buildings in the Detroit area; but unlike them, this building, the Fisher Body Plant 21, has a much more storied history. And the neighbourhood that it sits in also has far more to it than meets the eye; it was once home to many automotive manufacturing facilities, including the Ford plant that made the first Model T's.

Location attributes for Fisher Body Plant 21
Piquette Ave Industrial
(Detroit, Michigan, United States)
Built :: Closed   Status   Difficulty
1921 :: 1994   Abandoned   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   Security Risk   AUE Rating
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Hazard Observations   Security Observations
None Specified   None Specified

The Fisher Body building (Plant 21, not to be confused with Fisher Body Plant 23, located just down Piquette Ave), started out manufacturing Buick and Cadillac bodies, albeit only for a short period of time. When the Great Depression hit, manufacturing ceased at the plant; instead it was utilized as an engineering design facility while simultaneously acting as both a homeless shelter and a soup kitchen.

Once World War II hit, however, the situation changed, and the plant went back into full manufacturing mode, building several aircraft for the war effort, including the Lockheed P-80 and assemblies for the B-25. Following the war, it isn't recorded as to what purpose the plant served until 1956, when it went back to manufacturing Cadillac bodies; a role it served until 1984 when General Motors shuttered the plant.

The plant did see some use beyond 1984 as several paint companies set up shop, but this didn't last long. The plant was completely vacated in 1994, and has sat empty since then. In the subsequent 19 years, the only interesting note is that the ownership of the plant transferred to the City of Detroit in 1999, due to unpaid property taxes.

And, judging from the fact that sections of the building are collapsing from the years of neglect, it's hard to imagine that there is much of a future for the building, other than continuing to sit empty until decay or demolition ultimately have their way.

Motor City - August 2013
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