2021 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation
The nonprofit Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was founded in 2000 with the express mission to save and restore the former Ford Motor Company factory where the first Model T cars were produced. Threatened with demolition by neglect, the group strategically began stabilizing and then restoring portions of the building piece by piece.
The organization has achieved its mission and more over the ensuing 20 years. Volunteers carefully restored nearly all of the 355 windows across three factory floors. Grant funding, including grants provided through the Certified Local Government program at the SHPO, were used to replace the roof, stabilize the brick exterior and restore the façade to its as-built 1904 appearance. In regular consultation with the SHPO, preservation best practices have been employed across all aspects of the rehabilitation project.
The factory is now a designated National Historic Landmark and its educational collection of automobiles illustrate the story of early car manufacturing. Without the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the “birthplace of the Model T” might not have survived for the public to enjoy.