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On Wednesday, the Packard Plant’s bridge collapsed onto East Grand Boulevard. On today’s show, we talk about that and what we know about why it happened. And we use it as a jumping-off point to discuss the plant’s colorful past and ambitious — some might say quixotic — future plans.

In its heyday, the Packard Plant was the largest automotive factory in the world, built for an automobile company known for its engineering and innovations like the 12-cylinder engine and the modern steering wheel.

We also speak with John Lauter, a former tenant and current Packard historian, who fills us in on the plant’s post-Packard years starting in the late ’50s, including its use for film storage, then later on for illegal rave parties. Not to mention, there’s a dose of city hall intrigue at the turn of the millenium.

Below are some before-and-after shots of the pedestrian bridge.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons
via Douglas LeMoine

And now some pictures from the other day…

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