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Meet The Man Who Lives In Detroit's Abandoned Packard Auto Plant


Short film tells the story of Allan Hill, the man who has legally lived inside Detroit's abandoned Packard Auto Plant for the past 7 years.

Yes, the Packard Plant is so giant and empty and strange they shoot Michael Bay movies there.  And, occasionally, kids push a dump truck out a window.  Yet, Hill has power, Internet access, a welding setup, and a small kitchen.  He even maintains a webcam. The owner apparently gave him his blessing so long as Hill works as a custodian of the property.

When it opened in 1903, the luxury car factory, designed by famed architect Albert Kahn, was one of the largest and most modern factories in the world.  It closed in 1956, and today stands as a tragic reminder of Detroit’s industrial demise.  There has been talk of demolishing the iconic plant for some 15 years, but despite recent promises by the current owner, nothing has happened yet.

Source: Forbes, Jalopnik




The sprawling ruins of the Packard Plant symbolize the decline of industry in Detroit. The factory regularly burns because arsonists can slip in and out without detection.



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Reader Comments (6)

Packard shut it's doors in 1959. The end

Studebaker-Packard pulled the Packard nameplate from the marketplace in 1959. It kept its name until 1962 when "Packard" was dropped off the corporation's name at a time when it was introducing the all new Avanti, and a less anachronistic image was being sought, thus finishing the story of the great American Packard marque. Ironically, it was considered that the Packard name might be used for the new fiberglass sports car, as well as Pierce-Arrow, the make Studebaker controlled in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

In the late 1950s, Studebaker-Packard was approached by enthusiasts to rebadge the French car maker Facel-Vega's Excellence suicide door, 4-door hardtop as a 'Packard' for sale in North America, using stock Packard V8s, and identifying trim including red hexagon wheel covers, cormorant hood ornament, and classic vertical ox yoke grille. The proposition was rejected when Daimler-Benz threatened to pull out of its 1957 marketing and distribution agreement, which would have cost Studebaker-Packard more in revenue than they could have made from the badge-engineered Packard. Daimler-Benz had little of its own dealer network at the time and used this agreement to enter and become more established in the American market thru SPC's dealer network, and felt this car was a threat to their models. By acquiescing, SPC did themselves no favors and may have accelerated their exit from automobiles, and Mercedes-Benz protecting their own turf, helped ensure their future.
Dec 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
The Chrysler turbine cars were built to burn just about anything. They did not produce that many. Chrysler actually had all the tooling they needed to make them work, however, they ran out of money at about the time they were to start producing them en masse. I posted a couple of clips of some test drives and they sounded just like the Batmobile of TV fame. Here is a small piece of article from Hemmings. http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2012/10/01/hmn_feature3.html
Dec 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
The Packard plant in South Bend, Indiana, produced Jeeps for several owners -- Willys, Chrysler, who knows who owns Chrysler now? -- for many years. May still do so. I dunno.

Any odds on how long this shebang stays out of Chinese hands?

Sep 30, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Lloyd-Jones
Anyone know if this guy still lives there?
May 24, 2016 at 5:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterskinflint

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