It’s no secret that Dodge Ram cars have been part of the American landscape for a long time now. They are quality built automobiles that have stylish bodies and interiors, powerful engines, and long lives. Today we want to take a look back at one of the original Dodge manufacturing facilities that was in use for a long time.
When the Dodges decided to move to larger quarters, they bought a large parcel of land in the City of Hamtramck on the outskirts of Detroit. Perhaps they were already considering building their own automobile, but the first wave of construction in 1910-1913 simply provided them with facilities to produce gears, other machined metal products, forgings, and castings. The building contractor, Bryant & Detwiler of Detroit, broke ground on June 1, 1910 and the Dodge brothers began moving into the new buildings in December. Albert Kahn designed a modest brick office building, a small steel and brick powerhouse, a brick watchman’s house, and two steel-framed buildings, a forge shop and blacksmith shop, each 400 feet long. One of Kahn’s 1910 designs was the Machine Shop, a four-story reinforced concrete building with flat-slab framing and ten-sided concrete columns with flared capitals. There were two wings, each 65 feet by 405 feet, joined at the northern end by a segment measuring 65 feet by 235 feet. For Kahn, this was a small project compared to the vast Highland Park complex he planned for Ford. The Detroit architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls designed a foundry (1912) and a heat treatment building (1913), both ordinary steel-framed industrial buildings of the era. After 1912, Smith, Hinchman & Grylls designed almost all of the additional construction. (This information was compiled from dodgemotorcar.com and dodge.com.)
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