Detroit Now & Then: Revival

Studebaker Plant / Piquette Square

Milwaukee Junction, just outside of downtown, was where Detroit's early carmakers first set up shop. Just down the street from Henry Ford's original Model T factory on Piquette Avenue, the Studebaker Corporation had a large auto factory that covered an entire city block. Studebaker moved auto production to their headquarters in South Bend, Indiana in the 1920's, and the plant went through several owners before being completely abandoned in the 1990's. A massive fire in 2005 leveled the factory, leaving another empty lot in an increasingly vacant neighborhood.

In 2009, the eastern half of the property was redeveloped into the Piquette Square for Veterans, a $23 million dollar, 150-unit long-term housing project for Detroit's homeless veterans. The facility offers counseling, job training, access to computers, and other support options. The area around the former auto plants is starting to see new residential growth, as demand for housing increases in and around downtown.

Original photo: 2003. Library of Congress
Current photo: November, 2013