Overlooking Detroit

Ford River Rouge plant

Got my first good clear look at Detroit and Windsor from altitude on a recent trip back from somewhere. Here’s a series of shots. What impressed me most, amidst all that flat snow-dusted spread of city streets, a patch of grids on the flatland of Michigan and Ontario, flanking the Detroit River and its islands, was what looked like a dark smudge. Looking at it more closely, and matching it up with Reality, I discovered that this was Ford’s famous River Rouge Complex in the city of Dearborn.

Says Wikipedia,

The Rouge measures 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide by 1 mile (1.6 km) long, including 93 buildings with nearly 16 million square feet (1.5 km²) of factory floor space. With its own docks in the dredged Rouge River, 100 miles (160 km) of interior railroad track, its own electricity plant, and ore processing, the titanic Rouge was able to turn raw materials into running vehicles within this single complex, a prime example of vertical-integration production. Over 100,000 workers were employed there in the 1930s.

As an inveterate infrastructure freak, I would love to see this thing sometime.


  1. Arthur’s avatar

    You’re welcome to join me via bicycle on a Tour de Hood.

  2. Jonathan Peterson’s avatar

    It sure stands out when you hit Dearborn on google maps. The wikipedia article had an interesting bit about the 10 acre living roof on the largest building


    It’s very visibly just starting to green up in the google map photo:

  3. Tom’s avatar

    Detriot is a great place to live…I was there for a month almost 3 years ago and I had fond memories still intact in my heart…

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