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The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Detroit

4.8
Historic Site · Specialty Museum
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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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
560 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This was small but might museum. Easy to find, plenty of parking. Great history, no crowds. This should be on your list of places to see in Detroit! 
    This was small but might museum. Easy to find, plenty of parking. Great history, no crowds. This should be on your list of places to see in Detroit!  more »
  • What a wonderful museum and such an informative docent! This museum is small. It has all the old Ford models. This visit was the best museum experience because the docent was very knowledgeable and... 
    What a wonderful museum and such an informative docent! This museum is small. It has all the old Ford models. This visit was the best museum experience because the docent was very knowledgeable and...  more »
  • We had rehearsal dinner for daughter and future son-in--law at the Piquette. A unique collection of Ford autos, with every model from the Model A to the Model T, in the original 3 story building... 
    We had rehearsal dinner for daughter and future son-in--law at the Piquette. A unique collection of Ford autos, with every model from the Model A to the Model T, in the original 3 story building...  more »
Google
  • Great tour and experience! This was Ford's first plant where the Model T was designed and produced. Clearly a community effort to keep the space going and you can really see the care volunteers have put into saving the space. Many, many rare cars on display that were made in the building on display. The tour had something for everyone and I could tell our guide knew a ton about these cars. I went on a very cold day in winter and the building was not totally heated; not a problem for me and very understandable, but if you're sensitive to the cold you may want to visit on a warmer day. They are renovating the ground floor and I am sure the experience will keep getting better and better. Personally I would love to see more recreations of the production processes, machinery, etc. It would be great to make the museum more of a representation of the buildings original use. Right now it is really more like a (really cool) car show with some exhibits.
  • This museum was a nice experience. Very focused on the early years of the Ford motor Co and the early models of production. It is not the assembly line factory so if that is your expectation, you will be disappointed. But tons of information about the pre 1910 years of their production. It was an excellent experience and the guides are very knowledgeable. Dozens of early cars including many of the competitors in Fords early days. Also a lot of vehicles demonstrating the versatility of the Model T and its conversion into trucks, tractors, utility vehicles, etc. The tour was great but try to give yourself a little extra time to explore and read some of the things the tour does not cover
  • It was smaller than I had hoped, but had a great selection of the oldest Fords, plus some other antique cars and history. I enjoyed the peek into Henry Fords actual office. That made it very real. I would recommend this as a stop after the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation, which was top-notch. They are only about 15 minutes apart, very do-able. I'd give about 3-4 hours for the Henry Ford and an hour for the Piquette Avenue. Really shouldn't miss it. If you didn't notice, this facility is actually a US National Park, so bring your pass if you have one.
  • A beautiful place to have a wedding. Loved seeing all the old cars and the history that makes you proud to be a Detroiter. You can travel back in time and get your picture taken in a model T. There are three floors of old cars to enjoy, a museum and a gift shop. I loved hearing the stories from the gentleman that gave the tours. He has probably told them a thousand times but he told them with such enthusiasm that it felt like he was telling you for the first time. The parking lot is safe and monitored by many security. It was a magical night and I didn't want to leave.
  • Being someone that enjoys American automotive history, the tour of the Piquette Avenue Plant was better than I could have expected. The tour's docent kept the group enthralled for the two hour tour with his vast knowledge of automotive history as well as his complete knowledge of the building itself. Our attention was kept peaked not only by the dozens of 100+ year old cars, but important rooms in the facility were also brought back to period correctness. The engineering/top secret room was most impressive with it’s overhead, belt driven machinery and drafting table, not to mention Henry Ford's personal office decorated with his actual belongings including his telescope, camera and telephone. So if you find yourself in Detroit with a couple hours on your hands, go grab ahold of some of the Motor City's oldest & richest history, you'll be glad you read this revue, cheers!

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