96-Year-Old Cadillac Plant To Be Demolished for New Factory Build

The vacant plant will be redeveloped after a long period of disuse and neglect.

byLewin Day|
Cadillac News photo

The Cadillac Stamping Plant has long stood as a piece of Detroit's automotive history. That's coming to an end shortly, or a new beginning, depending on your vantage point. The City of Detroit has just announced the building will be demolished to make way for a new 684,000 sq.ft. industrial building, in a project that aims to bring 450 new jobs to the area.

First built in 1925 for the Hudson Motor Company, the factory built car bodies which were sent off to a nearby plant for assembly. General Motors took over the factory in 1956, using it to produce body panels for Cadillac vehicles into the mid-1980s, before closing it down. The factory has been largely vacant since then, and entirely vacant since 2015, being only partially used by a few tenants in the intervening period. Interestingly, in its dying years, it appears that it may have been used as a warehouse for trading cards, as Google Maps photos of the location indicate thousands of hockey and baseball cards scattered around parts of the site. The presence of the cards has become somewhat of a local mystery over the years.

YouTube/American Decay - The Modern Frontiersman

The city is focusing on keeping the spoils of the project within the city, hiring local contractors and working to ensure the majority of jobs hire local workers. The stamping plant demolition is already underway, being undertaken by Inner City Contracting, LLC, notably a 51% minority-owned and Detroit-based company. Missouri-based company NorthPoint Development are developing the site, and have committed to priority hiring of candidates from the local Detroit to Work program. The program, which aims to find employment for city residents, has been successful previously in providing 3000 workers to Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, in recent years.

YouTube/American Decay - The Modern Frontiersman

Speaking on the project, Inner City Contracting President Curtis Johnson said “We are returning Detroit to a place of family, community and opportunity. Most importantly, we’re involving Detroiters in the process.” The city has struggled with high levels of unemployment in recent decades, with automotive plant closures playing a major role as manufacturing has shifted overseas. Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, highlighted the city's focus on ensuring the project benefits locals, stating “Through every step of this process, we are making sure that Detroiters and Detroit-based companies are prioritized and have the chance to participate in and benefit from the work being done on this exciting new project.”  

The factory has long been popular among the urban exploration set. Being abandoned, reasonably easy to access, and a huge site to explore, there are a cavalcade of YouTube videos on the former factory. With the site now being demolished, you can vicariously see what once was in the video embedded below.  

Demolition is expected to finish in July this year, with construction of the new facility scheduled to complete by June 2022. It's hoped that the new site will attract an automotive supplier due to the site's location and facilities. The site may yet live on as a new chapter in the city's storied automotive history. With both Ford's restoration of Michigan Central Station and General Motors investing big in their own sites, Detroit may just have found its second wind. 

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