Canadian Manufacturing

GM restores Flint, Mich. factory considered to be the company’s birthplace

GM bought the rundown Durant-Dort Factory One in 2013 and renovated it to include event space and an archive of automotive history



The Durant-Dort Carriage Factory in Flint Mich. PHOTO: Andrew Jameson

FLINT, Mich.—General Motors has restored an old factory in Flint that’s considered to be the company’s birthplace.

The Durant-Dort Factory One, which reopened May 1, includes event space and an archive with about 100,000 historical documents, photos and other artifacts about carriage building and early automobile manufacturing. The public can visit by appointment.

The archive was relocated from nearby Kettering University.

Parts of the factory date to 1880. William Crapo “Billy” Durant and business partner Josiah Dallas Dort established the Flint Road Cart Co. in 1886 to build horse-drawn carriages.

Durant later took control of Buick, built GM and formed Chevrolet. GM executive Mark Reuss says the restoration preserves the stories of early visionaries who built a new industry in Flint.

GM in 2013 bought the building, which was in disrepair.

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