Factory Branch in Detroit

Discussion and questions about Packard dealers, distributors and factory branches.
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funeralleader
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Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by funeralleader » Mon May 19, 2014 2:11 pm

There is a building on 1745 East Grand Blvd. in Detroit just west of Mt. Elliott. The building looks like it could have built for a showroom. Could it have been a Fsctory Branch?

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Leeedy
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by Leeedy » Wed May 21, 2014 8:11 am

I'll take a look at it if it is on Google Maps. But sounds to me like a place I recall as a piano showroom and more over the years. Will look later.

PACKARDAPL
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by PACKARDAPL » Wed May 21, 2014 8:12 am

I looked at an on-line photo and agree that it could have been a dealership at the time it was constructed, however------
it most likely wasn't "Packard". I checked my files for Packard dealers in Detroit and could not find anything for 1745 E Grand.
{The factory complex was at 1580 E Grand, down the street.} A large number of Packard dealers or Packard agents over the years
were located all along Gratiot Street & elsewhere. They seemed to come and go frequently with just a few bigger longer-lasting
agencies. With so many models being produced in the Detroit area--this site could have been for any one of a dozen car makes.
There are several places that might identify this site. For instance;The Detroit public library has a lot of automotive stuff and
may also have city directories that you could consult for that address. It might not even be a former car agency building. Good luck.

Ken Chapman-Packard Dealer Roster Keeper

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Leeedy
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by Leeedy » Wed May 21, 2014 8:59 am

The factory branch dealers in Detroit were at one time located in at least two places. One was on Jefferson Avenue (we drove past that location last summer on the PAC National Meet Detroit Bus Tour.... and I pointed it out). The other was on Woodward Avenue north of Grand Blvd (it later became an industrial washing machine sales room and even a McDonalds. No idea what it is now.) There was also a very nice showroom at the actual Packard Plant. If you were a customer buying a new Packard, you could actually take delivery of your new Packard in this showroom that faced Grand Blvd.

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Leeedy
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by Leeedy » Wed May 21, 2014 9:08 am

Okay... looked at the building. I DO remember this building and it was the very one I recalled when the question first came up. Again, as I recall this was once a piano showroom and possibly a fine furniture store, but I never recall it being a Packard dealership.

RogerDetroit
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by RogerDetroit » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:00 am

Hmmmm............ This gets curiouser and curiouser.

I have done some research too and cannot even vouch that it is a Kahn designed building. However from the facebook page of the Packard owner https://www.facebook.com/packardplantproject follows:
"Anyone interested in a community meeting to hear more about the historic rehabilitation of the Packard Plant in person? If so, we hope you can join us on November 6 at 6pm, 1745 East Grand Blvd. at the Holy Ghost Cathedral (former Packard Showroom, Kahn design). We will discuss job creation, general timeline, master plan development and answer some of your questions. Hope to see you there. This is a free event and is open to the public."

Wonder what they uncovered??
1941 Packard 160 Convertible Sedan
1941 Packard 120 Business Coupe
1968 AMX - Dick Teague designed

RogerDetroit
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by RogerDetroit » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:33 pm

I did some additional homework and now I am 90% certain that: (1) it was never a Packard showroom and (2) it is not a Kahn design.

First, I looked up the City Directory for Detroit and found a 1928 edition online. At the time 1745 East Grand Boulevard was the home of Edmund-Clark Company retailer of “Furniture and Interior Decorations.” The two principle officers, Edmund G. Streng and Clarence F. Betzing each owned single-family homes just a few lots away at 1759 East Grand Boulevard and 1761 East Grand Boulevard, respectively. There is a small possibility that Packard could have purchased the building after this time, but I doubt it.

Second, I reviewed this website of over 400 Kahn designed buildings in the Detroit area: http://ilovedetroitmichigan.com/detroit ... o-detroit/ The site does NOT list a Kahn building at 1745 East Grand Boulevard. I sent an e-mail asking about the building in question and I will update this thread if/when I get a response.
1941 Packard 160 Convertible Sedan
1941 Packard 120 Business Coupe
1968 AMX - Dick Teague designed

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Leeedy
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Re: Factory Branch in Detroit

Post by Leeedy » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:34 pm

RogerDetroit wrote:Hmmmm............ This gets curiouser and curiouser.

I have done some research too and cannot even vouch that it is a Kahn designed building. However from the facebook page of the Packard owner https://www.facebook.com/packardplantproject follows:
"Anyone interested in a community meeting to hear more about the historic rehabilitation of the Packard Plant in person? If so, we hope you can join us on November 6 at 6pm, 1745 East Grand Blvd. at the Holy Ghost Cathedral (former Packard Showroom, Kahn design). We will discuss job creation, general timeline, master plan development and answer some of your questions. Hope to see you there. This is a free event and is open to the public."

Wonder what they uncovered??
As I said previously, I only remember the building in this posting as being a piano store and a fine furniture store. In the days prior to expressways, my father and I drove past this building regularly... like almost every day for several decades.

The Packard Plant has been a constant news item for many years now. Everybody likes to hitch their wagon to a popular cause or celebrity... and this appears to be one of those cases. The claim is a huge stretch. There were two external factory showrooms, one on Jefferson and the other on Woodward. A third showroom was actually inside the real Packard Plant with windows that looked out onto East Grand Blvd. Customers could, and did take delivery of new Packards at this location. Factory-delivered 1955 and 1956 Caribbeans were delivered in this showroom.

Some younger people left today in Detroit are making many claims, but most of the folks making such claims were never there in the days when all these things actually took place. Cute idea, but I agree with Roger.

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