Thursday, July 28, 2011

Factory #11 Demolished.

Google earth image from June 1, 2011 showing only a small portion (about half of the original) of factory #11 still standing. I'm pretty sure this section was gone by July 22, 2011 when I was there.

I tried getting a different view of the demolition from the east entrance of Leith st. but this was as close as I could get.

The wall beyond the angled (or saw-tooth  roof is all that is left at the north-end of factory #11 but this was a later addition.
Checking push rods in #11 1937.
Milling the Buick 8 on a machine that the workers called , "merry-go- round" in 1937.

All that was left as of July 22,2011. Facing east.  

Factory #11/31 viewed from Oak Park on July 22,2011. I did not realize at that time that this facade was all that was left of the original plant built in 1909. View facing north-east.
 links: North-End Of Factory #31 Leith Street Revisited. Factory #11 1909 Factory #31 2008 Factory #29 WWI Ambulance Buick Engine Plant #11 Buick Factory Designations Inside Factory #11 1909 Factory #31 2/28/04 1923 depiction of factory layout Factory #11 around 1922 Factory #11 about 1924 Factory #11 before remodel Factory #31 Originally Factory #11

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Factory #62 Getting Ready For War

This is the area known as 62-A. Many more photos of this area are found throughout this blog, including this post. Note the wheel covers (hubcaps) are painted on this car instead of chrome; because of war time shortages. That is the north wall of factory #01.

This layout shows the present (1946) and the proposed (1947) changes at Buick. Again; Thanks are due to Don Bent and his fine book "A Place Called Buick".

A postwar factory layout in 1947. Factories #04 and #16/40 are the new additions after the war. The addition at the south-end of factory #62 known as 62-A would have been built either in 1940 or 1941. "This is the location of the Bandstand or elevated work station located at the south-end of factory #62. This is a photo (after 1947) when factory #01 north of the main office has been built up. The south wing of factory #01 was an open space during WW II.

The combined factories that were factory #62. This is a pre-1934 photo. Enlarging of the photos on this site depends on which browser is used.

This shows the combined factories that were factory #62 where the M-18 tanks were assembled. This modified map version was taken from the book " A Place Called Buick" by Don Bent. (Your book is always at my side Don) I was inside of this factory on a tour once in the fifties. I did not step foot on the floor but walked across one of the overhead catwalks crossing over to factory #40/ bldg. #16 which was built following the war. My father was working in #40 at that time.

Here is a photo showing Harlow Curtice (straw hat) showing off the product that will be built in factory #62. This is the M-18 Hellcat tank destroyer developed and built by Buick workers. Must be one of the first mock-ups, "no gun installed yet".

One of the most famous photos from Buick. This shows the last 1942 Buick coming off the line before conversion for the war effort. "If it was anything like when I worked there, the maintenance workers were not far behind". This photo was taken February 3, 1942.

This shows you the bandstand area at the south-end during 1937. Some of the photos of this area are shown in the following photos.

This west facing view at the east wall of factory #10 inside factory #62 shows something that I have yet to identify. You can see it at the left, four photos below, (against the wall of factory #10) at the north-end of factory #62.

You are looking at the west wall of factory #07 inside factory #62. I also know this is the north-end because of the lights for the final line and also the position of the slat/final line.

I'm working on it, but this is definitely inside factory #62. You can see part of the roofed over area that created factory #62.

This is the roll test area at the north-end of factory #62.

This photo from the north-end of factory #62 is the same as the one shown (two photos) below. The slat line at the final inspection area has now been removed. Old factory #10 is on the left with #07 on the right.

This south facing view in factory #62 shows one of the many cross-over storage and work stations. In the distance, you can see the elevated bandstand at the south-end. Old factory #10 is on the right, with old #07 on the left.

This is facing south in factory #62 (the roofed over factory) near the final inspection area at the north-end. I like the time exposure in this one because you can see the ghost image of the maintenance workers. Old factory #07 is on the left with old factory #10 on the right. You can see this enclosed structure in 1946 straddling the line by clicking here.

This east facing view is the same area as the photos below, only taken from under the bandstand.

Same view as below, only taken from floor level. You will note that the unique windows that were present at the south-end of factory #62, prior to 1941, are no longer present because the bandstand is now housed in the new (roofed over) area know as the 62-A addition at the south of factory #62.

Same view as below, only the photographer is now elevated on one of the cross-over storage areas.

This view of the bandstand was taken from the same perspective as the one below, only now; the photographer is standing in #62 which was the new factory created by the roofed over area. The wall in the distance is old factory #01's north wall. This whole area was created by the new (roofed over) structure 62-A.

This is the bandstand (elevated work station) at the south end of factory #62. This view facing directly south is making the hairpin turn just after exiting the south-end of old factory #07. That is the north wall of factory #01. For those unfamiliar with factory #62, it was created in the mid twenty's as the "Unified Assembly Plant". It consisted of: factories #06, #07, #10, #62, #09 and #01. The area between factory #07 and #10 were roofed over, thus creating a new factory by simply building a roof.

links: Buick Factory #62 Factory #62 Buick Assembly Factory #62 Revisited. Buick Assembly 1947 Factory #62 1950 Bumper Installation. Factory #62 Chassis Loading Factory #62 The Forty's Factory #62 1927 Factory #62 1942 Factory #62 1952 Factory #62 1937 Factory #62 1933 Factory #62 1936 Factory #62 radiator installation. Factory #62 WWII Factory #62 Construction And Assembly Factory #62 Emmanuel Godin Factory #62 1955 Factory #62 1937 Factory #62 Construction Detail Factory #10 1923 Buick Assembly 1922 Factory #07 Seat Stuffing Factory #09 Northeast Corner Assembly factory #06 Factory #06 Assembly Buick factory #1 & #6 The Last Flint Built Buick During World War II Factory #01 Buick Factory #1 Hamilton st. Flint Michigan (view south west) Buick At It's Battle Stations

Factory #05 2011

This east view of the south dock shows the remnants of factory #30/#03 in the distance beyond the guard shack at right. “I still wonder why that is left in place”? click on photo for a better view. Leonard Thygesen has informed me that the skeleton was left in place to hold up power and steam  structures.

Factory #05 originally known as building #43 was built for making components of the J-65 Sapphire jet engine. This factory built in 1951 to support war work for the Korean war (which ended July 27, 1953) ended war production in 1955. The factories designation was then changed to factory #05, and made gears for Buick engines and transmissions. The last visit I made to this plant was in 2002 while making a trip from Bay City Powertrain on my way to the Cadillac plant in Detroit on special assignment. This view is facing north-east. From the outside it seems untouched as of July 22, 2011. Prior to 1951 the All Saints church and school stood in the foreground of this photo.   Link for 1951 life story on G.M. including the J-65 engine.

Factory #05 Construction J-65 Jet Engine Industrial Avenue Memories. Factory #05 Factory #05 Machine Work Factory #05 2008 Factory #30/#03 2004 Factory #05 2008

Monday, July 25, 2011

Factory #44 Site Through The Years

Here is the same view as shown below (taken in 1943) of the Division st. gate. This photo was taken from across the street. My red Grand Prix shown in the photo below would be parked where the worker is walking in this photo. All photos facing west.

I took this photo July 15, 2011 showing the site seen below. I was standing where my car was parked in the photo below. Before factory #44 stood here this was the location of factory #01.
Leornard Thygesen said this was one of his most remembered shots while filming the demolition of factory #04 in 2002. This is only able to be seen because #04 has already been removed. This is the north-west corner of the second floor where the ramp went into the paint department from #04 to #44. You are facing east.

I took this photo in 2001 when demolition south of Leith st. was just beginning. The brown building is factory #44 built in 1974. The brick factory beyond that is factory #04 built in 1947. The gate is Division street which runs through the entire Buick complex for two miles. The 1995 Pontiac Gran Prix was my old car.   

Factory #44 During Construction

Factory #44 Buick City

Buick 1975

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Factory Designations

This 1955 photo is facing south-west, showing the Buick north site. The #38 warehouse has not been built yet. It would be built north of factor #36. If you really want an in depth look into all the buildings at Buick, find a copy of: A Place Called Buick by author Don Bent.

For those new to this blog, the photos above show the factory numbers in 1947 and beyond. This is a north-east view. On some I have placed two numbers, the first is the original designation. "I hope this helps". Let me know if I'm in error, because I did this solely from memory. Thanks. The office was designated as #07.
 links: Buick 1932 Buick City Building Designations Industrial Avenue Memories. The Oak Park Industrial Complex 1907

Buick 1908 & 1909

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Factory #35 And #94

This is factory #94 built on the site of old Buick factory #35. This is almost the exact view as shown below. This is a graduation ceremony in 1943 for the Army Air Corp that did there training on maintenance of the Liberator radial aircraft engine built by Buick and also training for the repair of the M-18 Hellcat tank destroyer, also built by Buick. The Buick training facility was located in factory #17 just out of site to the south in this photo.

A ghost image of the two photos below.

This is the same view as shown below, only the year is 1920. Factory #35 was a small parts plant.

This north facing view from James P. Cole blvd. formerly known as St. John Street, is the original site of Buick factory #35, built in 1909 as Weston-Mott factory #4. This factory was demolished around 1938, making way for the future factory #94. This photo is dated July 22, 2011.
links: Buick For 1912

Factory #17 A View From The Past And Present

A ghost image of the two photos below. The year is 1920 and July 22, 2011.

This is the same view as shown below. The year of this photo is 1920. The road at that time was known as St. Johns Street.

A north view of the site of Factory #17 on July 22, 2011. The road is James P. Cole. links: Factory #17-b and #17 Training School WWII Army Air Force Technical Training THE FACTORY BEHIND THE CAR

Factory #28 Then & Now

Ghost image of factory #28.

This is the same view as shown below 91 years later. The street in front was re-routed in the 1970's during urban renewal. That was the time of the name change from St. Johns st. to James P. Cole blvd.

Factory #28 in 1920. This view is directly north with St. Johns street in front. This street is now James P. Cole blvd.
James P. Cole.

Factory #66 Demolition

The year is 1926 and the new crankshaft factory #66 is now completed. This south-east view is from Conover st. (now Gillispie street.) the same as shown below. This was the corner of the building where I received my fork lift training when we needed to be re-certified. The inside of this factory closely resembled the west end of the Bay City Powertrain plant I retired from in 2003.

This photo and the two below were taken July 15, 2011. The roof trusses used for the "north-south" section of factory #66/#31 are from the old factory #12, just as the "east-west" section used old factory #01 roof trusses. The windows have been changed during a previous re-model of the factory, but this is where the people are standing in the photo shown above, when it was just completed.

Demolition of #66 taken from Gillespie st.

This south-east view showing factory #66 demolition was taken July 17, 2011. Factory #31 is in the distance. That is Gillespie st. visible at the lower right.

Demolition has begun on the old crankshaft factory #66 which later became part of the combined factories know as #31. This view is facing south-east, at the north-end. The factory was originally built in an "L" shape because (old Conover st.) now Gillespie street crossed Industrial avenue at this site. This photo is from July 22, 2011.