Tour the historic 1914 Ford Motor Company Assembly Branch on East Washington Street, in Indianapolis, Ind. It is soon to be repurposed by TWG Development, and bring along your vintage Ford for an impromptu car show.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Former Ford Assembly Plant
1301 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indiana’s reputation in early auto manufacturing proudly claims Stutz, Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Studebaker, and many more. Rarely mentioned is the four-story Ford Assembly Branch at Washington and Oriental that generated 600,000 cars and trucks between 1915 and 1932.
After 1932, Ford used the plant for parts service and auto sales into the 1940s. Some may remember it as a Mallory factory. Mallory sold the property to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), which used less than half the building for receiving and storage. It landed on Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list in 2016.
Huge industrial windows that once flooded the interior with natural light have been boarded or removed and roof leaks leave standing water on upper floors. IPS is selling the plant to TWG Development whose repurposing will reopen and restore blocked windows and fill the building with apartments, offices, and retail.
The tour will be self-guided, with volunteers stationed to interpret the spaces and answer questions, including representatives of TWG who will talk about the renovation.
If you own a vintage Ford—Model T, Model A, or any other—drive it to the tour. The parking lot will become an impromptu car show!
This event is sponsored by Indiana Automotive, an affinity group of Indiana Landmarks.
Note: On November 9, 5:30-7:15, you can hear more about Ford’s historic innovations from Russ Banham, author of the award-winning The Ford Century. His talk takes place at Indiana Landmarks Center. This event, too, is free for Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Automotive members and $10 per nonmember. Attending both events but not a member? Join to get a better deal!
The late Paul Newman wrote the foreword to Russ Banham’s lavishly illustrated book, The Ford Century: Ford Motor Company and the Innovations that Shaped the World, a high-wattage endorsement from a film celebrity and celebrated car guy. The L.A.-based Banham will deliver a talk about Ford’s historic innovations, including its regional assembly plants like the one on Washington Street in Indianapolis,built in 1914 to turn out Model T and Model A automobiles.
Russ Banham, author of over twenty-five books on a wide range of topics, began his career as a journalist at The Journal of Commerce, a New York-based Knight-Ridder daily business newspaper that nominated him for a Pulitzer Prize in 1987, honoring a series of articles he wrote about the “bugged” U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In addition to his award-winning history of the Ford Motor Company, Banham’s books include Higher, a history of Boeing and the U.S. aviation industry; Rocky Mountain Legend, a chronicle of the Coors brewing dynasty; and Wanderlust, tales and history of Airstream travel trailers.
Indiana Automotive, an affinity group of Indiana Landmarks, hosts the talk on Thursday, November 9, which begins with light refreshments and cash bar at 5:30 p.m. Brief highlights of Indiana Automotive’s year and election of affinity group directors begin at 6 p.m. Russ Banham’s talk begins at 6:15, concluding at 7 p.m. and followed by a Q&A session.