The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, located in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, is an integral part of the Motor City’s legacy. Built in 1904 by Henry Ford, the plant was the birthplace of the Model T. “It was really the Silicon Valley of its day,” Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum President and COO Jill Woodward said. 

Visitors to the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum can see over 65 rare vehicles including a collection of Ford’s letter cars that preceded the Model T plus a rebuilt version of the secret experimental room where Ford made the very first one.  

This year, the plant — now a U.S. National Historic Landmark and nonprofit museum — turned 120 years old. Recently, the plant was awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to support infrastructure improvements and increase accessibility to its visitors.  

The volunteer group behind the nonprofit that turned the plant into a public museum has also taken on a $10 million capital campaign for renovations and preservation of the historic structure for the future. One Detroit’s Chris Jordan took a tour of the museum with Woodward to learn about the iconic collection of Detroit automotive history that sits within its walls.  

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