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Historic Ford Factory Restored and Open to Public

DETROIT — Ford's Piquette Avenue plant has been restored, after a decade of renovations, and opened to the public by a group of preservationists and Ford history enthusiasts. The factory is now welcoming visitors with extended opening hours.

"It's the first building built and owned by the Ford Motor Company and the only early automobile plant in Detroit open to the public," said Jerald Mitchell, president of the group. "Ford produced eight models here between 1904 and 1910."

The Piquette Avenue plant, near Detroit's New Center area, was purchased and saved from potential destruction in 2000 with donations by members of the Henry Ford Heritage Association. Donations and volunteer efforts have renovated the interior, installed exhibits, and restored the facade to its original 1908 appearance.

It is now owned and operated by a non-profit corporation which accepts tax-deductible donations to support its operation. It is not affiliated with Ford Motor Co..

Visitors will see a 1900-era mill style factory scene where Henry Ford and his team of automotive pioneers changed the course of history. They will see how automobiles were hand-assembled before the moving assembly line; also the experimental room where the Model T was developed, Henry Ford's restored office, and one of the earliest existing Model T cars.

The plant is open to the public April through October, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Group tours can be arranged at other times and the facility is available for special events and occasions.

Hours, directions and admission prices are available at www.tplex.org or call 313-872-8759.

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