By Vickie Thomas

HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) – The birthplace of the moving assembly line has been named one of the top most influential buildings in the country.

The historic Highland Park Ford Plant, designed by Albert Kahn in 1910, is No. 5 on “10 Buildings that Changed America,” a public television special airing Thursday night.

“I’m not at all surprised but really thrilled,”  said Woodward Avenue Action Association president Debbie Schutt. “Because the bottom line is it’s in our own backyard and most of us don’t even realize that not only is the one of the 10 most influential buildings in American, it is probably one of the top five in the world.”

In 1913, Henry Ford’s plant became the first automobile production facility in the world to implement the assembly line.

The plant,  located  at 91 Manchester Avenue, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but remains closed.

Schutt said they’re working to restore the building and re-open it for public tours. She said the association expects to close a deal to purchase the administration building on the plant site, which faces Woodward Avenue, in September.

The special is produced by Public TV Chicago in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians. In , it will air at 9 p.m. May 16 and 4 p.m. May 19 on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56; and at 1 a.m. May 13 on WTVS-Channel 56.2.

The show is described as a “new multi-platform initiative … about 10 influential American buildings that changed the way we live, work and play.” [Learn more about the program here].


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