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Automotive Traveler Magazine: Vol 3 Iss 3 Page 69

Opinion: Where It All Began

Debi Lander walks among the ghosts of automotive history at the Ford Piquette Plant in Detroit.

The Tower of London, the Roman Coliseum, the U.S. Capitol building,... and the site of an old manufacturing plant in Detroit? Experiencing emotional consciousness from global wonders should come as no surprise for me, a seasoned traveler. Places like the Tower of London are so steeped in historical drama your every movement seems to disturb a spirit of the past. I was caught quite off guard, however, by the spine-tingling sense of entrepreneurial genius that overwhelmed me on my recent visit to Detroit.

At 411 Piquette Avenue in a somewhat abandoned section of Motor City sits a three-story wood and brick building. Its modest façade and humble surroundings belie its significance. This corner lot is one of the 100 most significant industrial sites of the 20th century. A National Historic Landmark, the building at 411 Piquette Avenue is Henry Ford's original manufacturing plant--and the home of the Experimental Room where he and his team designed the Model T.

Almost as soon as I arrived, the legendary site stimulated such strong vibes that I could literally feel the