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GM Restores Founder's Historic Factory

May 03, 2017

Photo courtesy of GM.
Photo courtesy of GM.

General Motors is wrapping up a restoration of Durant-Dort Factory One, the historic Flint, Mich., building that was used starting in 1886 by the early founders of what became General Motors.

William Crapo "Billy" Durant and Josiah Dallas Dort used the facility to manufacture carriages for the Durant-Dort Carriage Company. Durant eventually took control of the Buick Motor Co. and in 1908 used his success to form General Motors. He formed Chevrolet in 1911.

The factory was closed in 1924, after ceasing production of carriages in 1917 due to declining sales.

GM purchased it in 2013 and added new, period-accurate windows and doors, as well as a new roofing system with the goal of preserving the original architecture. Contractors replaced 17,000 bricks color-matched to the original, as well as 20% of the mortar on the building. The foundation, damaged by flooding and grade changes over time, was repaired and waterproofed.

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