GM returns to its birthplace with renovated Flint factory from 1886
General Motors returned to its roots Monday unveiling a renovated factory in Flint, Mich., that's considered to be the automaker's birthplace. Called the Durant-Dort Factory One, the site is where GM co-founder William Durant began his cart company in 1886. The building, which had fallen into decay, is re-purposed as an events space with room for 300, offices, and home of the extensive Kettering University archives, which date to the early days of the auto industry.
GM bought the factory in 2013 and spent $3 million to restore the exterior – including replacing more than 17,000 bricks. The second phase saw renovations to the interior, though that cost was not disclosed.
Factory One is located along the Flint River in the city's historic carriage district. The site dates to 1880, when it was part of a wool and cotton company. Durant leased it for his Flint Road Cart Company in 1886. Flint, which has fallen on hard times due to factory closures since its heyday when thousands of GM vehicles poured out of the city's facilities, is considered one of the cradles of the auto industry.