People Are Taking Guided Tours Of The Terrifying Packard Plant

Illustration for article titled People Are Taking Guided Tours Of The Terrifying Packard Plant

Layers of asbestos and the risk of severe head trauma from falling chunks of concrete be damned, gawkers from all over the world are hopping on charter buses to check out Detroit's second-most-famous ruin, the Packard Plant.

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Even if you've never been to Detroit, you know this guy, the old train station. But you probably don't know it's surrounded by a high fence with barbed wire to keep people out. It's still privately owned by the guy who owns the Ambassador Bridge.

But the Packard Plant, which is currently owned by Wayne County and up for auction, is wide open. And has been for years. It's always been a site for underground raves, Banksy expeditions and other destructo-displays, but now people are just sort of walking through there in groups and taking pictures. Kinda lame, relatively speaking. But extremely dangerous nonetheless.

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According to Motor City Muckraker:

One such group, Motor City Photography Workshops, charges photographers to explore the Packard Plant and other abandoned buildings.

We “have been offering urban outings to Detroit to explore and shoot abandoned buildings since January 2012,” the site reads. “We have taken our members to over 40 abandoned locations in 2012 alone.”

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MCM points out that two other tourists at the Packard were carjacked recently, which might be the least of criminal activity there, what with all the scrappers, fires and drug activity. Still, none of that seems to be deterring curious onlookers.

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DISCUSSION

BrandonOKeefe
GMfishbowls

I made my first visit to Detroit two weeks ago, and I honestly did not know what to expect. The city obviously has problems, but Detroit was far from the state of disarray that is often promoted. Mind you, there were plenty of areas in Detroit that I did not venture to. Detroit is still a big city: there are good neighborhoods and there are bad. Having said that, Detroit has a tremendous amount of character to it, and where this is most evident is in its commercial architecture.

Five years ago or so, I may have ventured over to see the Packard plant, when the buildings still looked somewhat like actual buildings, rather than partially charred piles of rubble. What is there to see now? I would rather spend my time seeing well maintained or restored buildings which are spead over Detroit.