Thursday, December 22, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust: Historic GM Truck Building Demolished

A quick drive past GM's Truck Product Center in Pontiac, MI, led me to do a double take while passing the facility. Something didn't look right.

What Currently Remains of the former GM Truck & Bus Engineering Offices

And it hit me: the oldest remaining building on the property, the former Truck & Coach Engineering Office, was no longer a two-story yellow brick building, but a giant pile of rubble with a vast number of CAT excavators crawling over it's remains.

Aerial View of GM Truck & Coach in Pontiac, Circa 1950.  Red Building Demolished This Week

While the property on the corner of South Boulevard and Opdyke Road had been owned by GM since the late 1920s, the Engineering Building was part of a series of additions that were built in the late 1940s. The building, circled in red, is visible in this postcard image from approximately 1950.

The Major Changes Made to This Property Are As Follows

Over the years, this setting's changed immensely. With the liquidation of the Heavy-Duty truck assets to Volvo, the bus lines to Dial Corporation, and the movement of full-size truck production to a new Pontiac plant closer to Square Lake Road, GM no longer had need for the plant structure by the early 1990s, and soon went to work redeveloping the land.

The section in green was sold to developer EJ Atkin, and was developed into Centerpoint, a business campus, home to a few restaurants, office buildings, and hotels. The biggest resident of this park is, of course, GM, who built it's Truck Product Center (TPC) in this area.

This building, intended to be GM's truck engineering hub, is very empty at present date, thanks to the movement of truck engineering staff to the Tech Center in Warren, MI. You can see TPC in the background of the photo at the top of this page.

The section in blue is the old powerplant for the plants, dating back to the 1920s. This was torn down in 1999 or 2000 to allow for further expansion and development of the facility, which never happened.

The section in yellow, however, still exists to date. These buildings have always been the experimental garages, and continue to be used as such for preproduction prototypes.

No information is known on what will happen to the land formerly occupied by the offices, but more than likely it will simply be paved over for additional parking spots.


Post a Comment