Film Diary - Abandoned Packard Plant

On my first day in Detroit I explored Africantown with my friends and roamed around looking at the street art. The main attraction that day was the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant (though the enchiladas in Mexicantown were a very close second). 

The Plant was erected in 1911 and spans the same space as 62 football fields. As of the 90's it became completely abandoned and filled with rubble, graffiti, and spikes and poles ready to stab you in the eyeball as you pass through it's pitch black halls and levels. 

We made it all the way up to the rooftop just before sunset and watched the city get dark from the top of the plant. It was getting cold and starting to rain, so it was about time to get out of there. Getting in was easy, getting out turned out to be much harder. What we thought was the way we came lead us to a different wing entirely, and with no escape in sight, we had to come up with a different route.

Joe missed a step and fell face first into a pool of standing water with who-know's-what living in it. After about 40 minutes of wandering through the halls that suddenly became unfamiliar, we saw light. Dim light from the parking lot was filtering in through a crack in the broken walls. Then there we heard the voices. It was fortuitous that we found an exit when we did, not wanting to make friends inside the plant. Climbing over a mountain of trash - tires, wood, bricks, you name it - we were able to safely jump to street level and make it back to the car. 

The day I got back to NYC, this headline came out about the plant, "Urban explorers find dead body inside Packard Plant." It's a strange place. A graffiti artists canvas, scrap metal yard for anyone who needs supplies, and even a playground for some (aka me). 

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