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AxelTheRed

General Motors Original Headquarters

16 posts in this topic

AxelTheRed    0

I live near Flint, MI and I know that GM didn't move its headquarters to Detroit until about 1923...I'd like to find out where their original headquarters were located up here.

I've been checking all over for weeks on end trying to find out where it was. Does anybody know or have any ideas on how TO find it?

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balthazar    1,875

Are you asking for Buick's initial location, or General Motors'?

The Buick, Complete History shows a photo that's captioned 'the first General Motors headquarters' at 127 Woodward Ave in Detroit (and the building is so lettered in the pic). Chronologically, the pic is placed in discussion of 1909-1910 text.

Now, Durant had more than one office, of course a prominent one in Flint in the early years. Which one, if any, was considered the 'headquarters' of GM- I'm not sure. Functionally, the headquarters was wherever Durant was. But I can't substantiate official "GM" headquarters beyond the above at this writing; it's the only visually-identified building I've seen a pic of yet this early. 'Headquarters' can refer to either/or the location of the legal organization (GM was organized in NJ in 1908, but I've yet to hear they ever maintained a physical presence in the state), or the physical offices.

Ground was broken for Buick's first automotive manufacturing in September 1903 on West Kearsley St in Flint, across the street from the Flint Wagon Works. But in Jan 1904, The Buick Board voted to dissolve the Buick Motor Company "headquartered in Detroit" and organized a new firm with the same name, "headquartered in Flint".

A new, much larger facility was begun in 1905, not sure of it's address, but it had an 'office' building prominently up front.

In 1905, a Buick print ad stated the company had factories in Jackson & Flint, but the bold type said 'Buick Motor Co, Jackson MI". It all gets confusing rather quickly.

If anyone has the time, there are a GREAT & fascinating series of threads on early MI auto factories and 'what's there' today at

http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/78791.html

Myself, with a dial-up connection, have only gotten thru about a third of the threads and I need to go back to the start and take some notes.

Edited by balthazar

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NOS2006    11

Yeah, that would be neat to know as I live in Flint part-time too now.

Oh, and a fun fact, I just found out tonight that Flint is the third most dangerous city in the US. Woohoo!

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NOS2006    11

Sadly...that doesn't come as much of a surprise...

211058[/snapback]

No kidding. I was in someone's car today going to the movie theatre. Well, on the way, he got pulled over for rolling a stop sign. As the police officer approached the car, we heard from his radio, "We've just got a report of a stolen car from the gas station." We tried not to laugh, but it was so hard. All four of us burst out laughing.

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trinacriabob    21

Isn't it some tall, bulky older building in downtown Detroit that says (or said) GENERAL MOTORS on it? I mean, I know they are now in RenCen, but didn't they have this Gothic looking building within the last 50 years or so? God, was it ugly.

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Chris_Doane    29

Yeah, that would be neat to know as I live in Flint part-time too now.

Oh, and a fun fact, I just found out tonight that Flint is the third most dangerous city in the US. Woohoo!

211044[/snapback]

I told ya to buy kevlar a while back....

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Isn't it some tall, bulky older building in downtown Detroit that says (or said) GENERAL MOTORS on it?  I mean, I know they are now in RenCen, but didn't they have this Gothic looking building within the last 50 years or so?  God, was it ugly.

211273[/snapback]

What was so bad about it? That was the style in those days. When it was built in 1920 that building was the largest office building in the world. I loved the way they had the letters on the top.

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I live near Flint, MI and I know that GM didn't move its headquarters to Detroit until about 1923...I'd like to find out where their original headquarters were located up here.

I've been checking all over for weeks on end trying to find out where it was.  Does anybody know or have any ideas on how TO find it?

211039[/snapback]

Not trying to be funny but maybe the original building has been demolished by now. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find it if its still standing with Flint being the GM capital I know there are plenty of old time GMers in that area that would have the answer. I'd actually like to visit the area and have someone show me where the historic plants and buildings were. I was there last summer and they have those cool historical markers that mark where the sit down strike was etc.

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AxelTheRed    0

Not trying to be funny but maybe the original building has been demolished by now. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find it if its still standing with Flint being the GM capital I know there are plenty of old time GMers in that area that would have the answer. I'd actually like to visit the area and have someone show me  where  the historic plants and buildings were. I was there last summer and they have those cool historical markers that mark where the sit down strike was etc.

211400[/snapback]

I'm gonna guess that GM's original headquarters were PROBABLY in the old Buick offices when it was based in Flint. It seems only logical since Buick was the cornerstone of GM...if that's the case, then its definitely been demolished.

Edited by AxelTheRed

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balthazar    1,875

Isn't it some tall, bulky older building in downtown Detroit that says (or said) GENERAL MOTORS on it?  I mean, I know they are now in RenCen, but didn't they have this Gothic looking building within the last 50 years or so?  God, was it ugly.

You obviously never saw it in person. I did, I found it quite architecturally beautiful, esp the lobby. Designed by the famous Albert Kahn, who did a vast quantity of industrial/administrative buildings, it has a lot of detail that's tasteful and grand at the same time. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

The red neon atop the building is gone now, unfortunately. Small shot of the detail inside:

Posted Image

from above:

The Buick, Complete History shows a photo that's captioned 'the first General Motors headquarters' at 127 Woodward Ave in Detroit (and the building is so lettered in the pic). Chronologically, the pic is placed in discussion of 1909-1910 text.

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Olds Guy    30

NOS, a suggestion is to visit the library in Flint. It has an excellent section on GM stuff (as you might guess). They have most Fisher Body Books and such for all makes and models of GM cars. Way better than the Dearborn library has on Ford.

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mustang84    12

Here's a pic of Cadillac Place, GM's HQ from 1923 until 1996, designed by Albert Kahn.

Posted Image

Edited by mustang84

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AxelTheRed    0

There's also the Buick Museum in Flint, can't remember the exact name or street its on but there are some Flint guys here who must know.

211636[/snapback]

Yeah, the Buick Gallery and Research Center. Its on Walnut Street right off of Robert T. Longway Boulevard.

That museum is bad ass. Anyone who passes though Flint ought to take a look at it. Its not an incredibly big place, but they have a LOT of cars in there (obviously all locally built)...and a tank.

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