The Woodward Avenue Action Association has big plans for the historic Ford Plant in Highland Park, starting with the redevelopment of the administrative office building and executive garage overlooking Woodward Avenue just south of McNichols Road.
The 4-story building served as the offices for Henry Ford at the critical time when he was developing the assembly line and creating the $5 workday in the early 20th Century. The building no longer serves as an office complex and has fallen into disrepair.
"We want to stabilize it," says Heather Carmona, executive director of the Woodward Avenue Action Association
. "We want to make sure we don't lose it. This is the most historically-significant building in the state and one of the top 5 in the country."
The Woodward Avenue Action Association has received a $400,000 grant from the State of Michigan to purchase the building. A sale price of $550,000 has been agreed to and the Woodward Avenue Action Association plans to raise the money to close the gap.
The 40,000-squar-foot building is at 14329 Woodward and stands next to a shopping center and in front of the former Ford industrial plant, which still has tenants. The Woodward Avenue Action Association plans to redevelop the office building into a museum about Henry Ford, the plant and how they changed the world in the early 20th Century. The nonprofit also plans to turn the building into its new home and create office space for businesses that would help make the project viable.
"Obviously it needs to be sustainable," Carmona says. "It just can't be a museum."
Source: Heather Carmona, executive director of the Woodward Avenue Action Association
Writer: Jon Zemke
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