Highland Park Plant, Ford Motor Company

15050 Woodward Ave., Highland Park, Michigan


Highland Park Model T Factory

Photo taken by wdzinc



Street View 


Designed mostly by noted industrial architect Albert Kahn, this plant is considered the birthplace of the moving assembly line. It was in operation from 1910 to 1927. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, June 2, 1978

A Michigan Historical Marker here reads: Highland Park Plant

The Ford Motor Company Highland Park Plant was built between 1909 and 1920 on the lot bounded by Woodward, Manchester and Oakland Avenues, and three railroad tracks. An office building, a garage and several machine shops once stood on this portion of the site. At this plant, Ford instituted the" five dollar day," a generous wage for the time. In factory "H", located directly east of here, he began mass producing automobiles on moving assembly lines. Detroit architect Albert Kahn designed the complex, which included offices, factories, a power plant and a foundry.* In 1927, Ford shifted auto production to the River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, limiting Highland Park to truck and tractor manufacturing. The Highland Park Plant is a National Historic Landmark. *Although Albert Kahn is credited with the design of the Highland Park plant it was in conjunction with Ford's 'Lieutenant's', and mainly Edward Gray, Ford's Chief Engineer. Gray also designed the first power plants for Highland Park.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 6, 1973
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Engineering; Transportation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Current function
Manufacturing facility
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1910; 1927
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 14
Contributing structures: 6

Update Log 

  • June 26, 2015: Updated by Paul Rentz: Role of Edward Gray
  • October 22, 2012: New photo from Rattrak
  • June 20, 2012: New photo from wdzinc