The Packard Automotive Plant is a former automobile-manufacturing factory in Detroit, Michigan where luxury cars were made by the Packard Motor Car Company and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.
The Packard plant was opened in 1903 and at the time was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world with skilled craftsmen involved in over eighty trades. The factory complex closed in 1958, though other businesses operated on the premises or used it for storage until the late 1990s.
A number of the outer buildings were in use by businesses up through the early 2000s. In 2010, the last remaining tenant, Chemical Processing, announced its intention to vacate the premises after 52 years.
Since its abandonment, the plant has been a haven for graffiti artists, urban explorers, paintballers and auto scrappers, and much of the wiring and other building material has been scavenged. In one incident, vandals pushed a dump truck from the fourth floor. Karen Nagher, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Preservation Wayne, stated that she was irked to see people come from “all over the world” to poke around Detroit. “Piece by piece, they’re disassembling those buildings, making it harder and harder to restore them”.
Despite many years of neglect and abuse, the reinforced concrete structures remain mostly intact and structurally sound. Portions of the upper floors of several small sections in various buildings have collapsed or been partly demolished and lay in ruins in the wake of several aborted attempts at demolition over the years.
Many films have been shot here including most recently scenes for the Michael Bay fifth Transformers movie, staring Mark Wahlberg.