Labor and Economic Opportunity
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is located approximately five miles north of the Detroit River in a section of the City of Detroit just east of Woodward Avenue between the Ford Freeway (I-94) on the south and East Grand Boulevard on the North, known as Milwaukee Junction. Residential development had not yet reached this far northward when the Ford Piquette Plant was built in 1904, but nearby rail lines were already established, making it attractive to the several automobile and automobile related companies that located there in the early years of the twentieth century. Several other industrial buildings situated along this rail line, both east and west of Woodward Avenue (New Amsterdam Historic District, listed on the National Register, 2001), still remain today.
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is historically significant for several reasons. It was the birthplace of the famous Model T, the most important car in history, and the site where the application of the moving assembly line to the manufacture of automobiles was conceived. The world's record for car production also was achieved here, thereby establishing American dominance and expertise in automobile manufacturing in the early 20th Century. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant qualifies for listing on the National Register for its historical associations with the Model T and with Henry Ford. The site is architecturally significant for its distinctive method of construction, which soon became obsolete as a result of innovations in building technologies and the necessities of industrial production.