We have been following the developments of the Packard Plant Project and salvage efforts for other Detroit automotive landmarks for quite some time now. Many of the Fisher Body Plant buildings were designed by famed architect Albert Kahn, who was also responsible for some of the Packard buildings. Some of the Kahn-designed factory buildings at both sites were constructed of poured concrete including Fisher Body Plant 21.
The building was in the news last fall when a possible restoration and new use for it was announced. Dimitri Hegemann, a successful night club owner from Berlin, Germany would like to turn Fisher Body 21 into a nightclub that featuring techno-music. No further developments about the situation have turned up in the news since then, but there is hope in Detroit that it might come to fruition. In the meantime, an interesting video Body by Fisher has been released, and is included (below) as Fisher is an important part of our ongoing Harley J. Earl Story. A brief history of the Company is also included here.
- The lead photo shows a 1959 Chevrolet body at the end of the production line.
- Hundreds of “turret top” stampings in one of the Fisher plants await final assembly.
According to the present day Fisher & Company the start of the Fisher brothers involvement in the car body building business started in 1904. At that time two of the brothers came to Detroit, MI, from Ohio to work in the body shops that supplied the growing horseless carriage trade. Being quick studies, in 1908 they started the Fisher Body Company and by 1913 were producing 100,000 bodies yearly and that amount quickly tripled by 1916.
In 1919, William Durant bought sixty percent of the company for General Motors. In 1926, the Fisher buyout was complete, and the Company became an important part of the automaking giant. At that time Fisher operated over forty plants, employed more than 100,000 workers, and was one of the largest manufacturers in the world.
During World-War II, airplanes and tanks were produced by Fisher, and by the post-war years the Company was one of the most advanced manufacturers in the world. In August of 1944, the Fisher brothers resigned from GM to concentrate on the magnificent Fisher Building in Detroit. Copyright © 2015 The Old Motor.
- Upper and lower sections of bodies being joined on the assembly line in preparation for final welding.
Below you can learn much more about the Company in the excellent documentary Body By Fisher, a recent release by WGTE Public Media. The 26-minute long video is well worth the time to view it as it is filled with a wealth of information and interesting photographs. You can also review all of our earlier coverage of Fisher here on The Old Motor.
To observe the present dismal state of Plant 21, be sure to view Abandoned Detroit – Fisher Body Plant 21 (below) produced by Bare USA. It paints much of the same story as that we have presented in our earlier coverage of the Packard Plant.