The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was established in April 2000 and remains today dedicated to the mission
of preserving the birthplace of the Model T.
In 1997, zoning around the area of the historic Ford Piquette plant changed.
Local preservationist and college professor, Jerald A. Mitchell, began to
suspect that bulldozers might not be far away! He approached the Henry Ford
Heritage Association with a proposal to form a committee and investigate ways in
which the building could be saved. The Piquette Plant Preservation Project was
immediately born. Through the generosity of HFHA members, $50,000 was raised in
a year as a down payment for the site.
Two years later, T-Plex was formed and purchased the building. Since that
time, the Piquette plant has changed from a threatened and neglected building to
a vital site of historic restoration, tourism and auto enthusiasts' activity. In
2004, the building's centennial was officially celebrated with a sold-out party
featuring Edsel B. Ford II as the evening's honored guest.
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is managed today by Jerald A. Mitchell, President and CEO, and a board
of directors. Nearly a dozen committees are involved in exhibits, loaning cars,
newsletter and public relations, strategic long range planning, and window
restoration, among others.
The plant is located in the MotorCities
National Heritage Area. Designated by the U.S. Congress in 1998 as an
affiliate of the National Park Service, MotorCities helps citizens appreciate
how the automobile has changed Michigan, the nation and the world. In addition
to promoting the region's auto-related tourist attractions, MotorCities also
provides educational materials and funds revitalization projects.
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is also a member of National
Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM). The organization was founded in
1995 to link auto museums together, enabling them to foster education, share
exhibits and exchange vital data about collections.