By on February 1, 2019

If you drive, or walk, down Woodward Ave. from Detroit’s New Center area to downtown, you can’t help but notice the economic development along that corridor. Detroit has bottomed out. Areas formerly bereft of businesses and housing have been filled in, and hopefully that development will start spreading east and west of Woodward, Detroit’s version of Main Street. Over on the east side of town, one of America’s most blighted urban areas, there is another hopeful sign — a symbol of the city and domestic automobile industry’s decline has literally come crashing down.

The Packard plant bridge over East Grand Boulevard, target of lazy photojournalists for years, collapsed last week, perhaps due to extreme temperature swings the midwest has seen recently.

Detroit’s massive, sprawling, and mostly abandoned Packard plant, where for decades some of the world’s most prestigious luxury cars were made, has long been a symbol of the Motor City’s decline. It has made for dramatic photography for slothful news editors looking to illustrate the deterioration of both one of America’s great cities and one of its primary industries. It was recently used as the backdrop for the opening episode of the third season of Amazon’s Clarkson/Hammond/May vehicle, The Grand Tour.

However, the Packard factory really has nothing at all to do with how the Big Three managed to screw the pooch in the Malaise Era, ultimately giving up big fractions of market share to Japanese, German, and now Korean automakers over the past 40 years.

At the time of its construction in the early 20th century, the Packard plant was a modern marvel. The product of the genius of architect Albert Kahn and his engineer brother Julius (who developed reinforced concrete floors), the factory was obsolete by 1956, when it produced its last car and a struggling, about-to-die Packard moved production to a smaller, more efficient facility. It should be noted that Packard failed at a time when the Big Three were enjoying record sales and big profits. Chevy and Ford each sold over a million full-size cars in 1957. The problems particular to Packard’s demise had little or nothing to do with the structural problems of the domestic auto industry 60 years later.

Despite the fact it stopped produced cars long before most of you were born, the massive and sprawling factory that produced Packard automobiles erroneously became a symbol of the ills of the domestic auto industry that came to a head in 2007-2009, culminating in the bankruptcies and federal bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler.

If there is one image of the Packard plant that is genuinely iconic, a synedoche, a symbol that stands for the whole, it was the bridge that spanned East Grand Boulevard that was actually part of the Packard assembly line. As the facility was developed into the 1930s, buildings were added in an almost haphazard manner, and the bridge was used to transport partially assembled cars from one department to another.

In 2015, Arte Express, the company owned by Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo that has started redeveloping the site, starting with Packard’s administration building adjacent to the bridge, wrapped the graffiti covered bridge in a theatrical scrim printed with an image of how the bridge looked in the factory’s heyday.

They said at the time they would begin work on the bridge, but recent press reports say the fact that Arte Express only owns the northern half of the bridge hindered that work. The city of Detroit owns the southern half of the bridge and the adjacent building on the south side of East Grand Blvd. The city government’s involvement in the site has been a point of contention with owners and potential developers over the decades.

There is no word from Arte Express as to whether they plan on rebuilding the iconic structure. The city has hired a private demolition company to remove the wrecked span and clear the debris from the street. East Grand Boulevard will be closed while that takes place.

[Images: http://www.instagram.com/camera_jesus, historicdetroit.org/Twitter, Ronnie Schreiber, Amazon]

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165 Comments on “An Icon of Detroit’s Ruin, Packard Plant Bridge Collapses, Fades Into History...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    A rickety abandoned bridge collapse is the least of Detroit’s problems, but very symbolic

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I took my family this past fall break to Detroit to spend a couple of days at the Henry Ford Museum. If you have not had the opportunity to spend time there or are looking for a quick and relatively affordable 3 day getaway with your kids, I can’t recommend it enough.

    After one of our days we drove over to the Packard plant and through the surrounding neighborhood. A sense of awe is all we could come up with in terms of the blight etc in the area.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I really want to go to that Ford museum some day, I hear it’s great

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        I can’t recommend it enough. My 15 year old told me, no joke, that he thought it was better than Disney. He is a car nut for sure so that makes it easy. We spent close to 2 hours in the train station round house where the trains are parked. They have a ‘pit’ so you can go underneath and see bottom up how a steam train works.

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          87 Morgan – Wow, that is cool. That place is definitely on my bucket list. Where did you stay while you were there?

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            We stayed at a Courtyard Detroit Dearborn. I burned points for the hotel and air to get there. It is nice enough for an older Courtyard in Detroit, lots of places to eat etc nearby and about a 5 minute drive to the Museum.
            I was told last weekend while working NADA that the 4th of July celebration at Henry Ford spectacular.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Wheel

            dukeisduke,

            Besides what 87 Morgan said, check out the museum’s website at http://www.thf.org. Check out Visit > Plan Your Visit > Vacation Packages. They have partnered up with a number of nearby hotels of varying cost.

            As others have noted, you don’t have to be a car person to enjoy the place. Anyone interested in our national history will be blown away. Henry Ford Museum is inside & has the cars & other displays. Greenfield Village is outside & has various houses of important people (Henry Ford himself, Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright brothers bicycle shop, etc.), a working steam locomotive with roundhouse & turntable, Model T rides, etc. Note that the Village is currently closed in winter, & reopens in April.

            There are two great car shows at the Village in the summer: Motor Muster & The Old Car Festival.

            They also have tours available of the Rouge F-150 truck plant. I have not yet gone, but heard it’s great.

            Again, full details are on the website.

            Plan on spending a couple of days if you want to see it all.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      As I recall, 87, you live in the Denver area, and folks here don’t really understand first-rate urban blight. They think Montbello is the ‘hood.

      I show my kids google maps street scenes of the city I grew up in (St. Louis) and they’re absolutely stunned. There are parts of the city that look like a scene from some “10 years after a virus decimated mankind” post-apocalyptic movie.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        Mike there are crappy areas in every city. And plenty far outside of cities. MANY areas of StL are cool, hip, “up and coming”, architecturally stunning, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I actually wouldn’t mind moving back to “the Lou.” And I think the old Midwestern industrial cities are primed for a big comeback, primarily because places like Denver have become stupid expensive.

          Having said that, though, “crappy neighborhoods” in places like Detroit or St. Louis are VERY different than the ones here in Denver, if for no other reason than crime.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            Denver is only behind St. Louis because it has only had 55 years of one party rule, while St. Louis enters it’s 70th year of one party rule.

            I would say give 15-20 more years but now that Colorado has become California in being a one party state the decline will be rapid.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Right, and Missouri’s just awesome now that it’s a one party state too. Governor Blow-Sh*t-Up-On-Youtube fixed everything before he Fifty Shaes of Greyed himself out of office. Right?

            Newsflash: a state’s economy doesn’t necessarily have much to do with the party that runs it. De-industrialization is what killed Missouri’s economy. That particular problem doesn’t have a “D” or “R” behind it. Colorado’s economy got good because of tech and energy. That doesn’t have a “D” or “R” next to it either.

            Get real.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “Newsflash: a state’s economy doesn’t necessarily have much to do with the party that runs it.”

            Newsflash St. Loius is a city

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Yes, Mike I do live here in the Douglas county suburbs.

          Miata…I think what Mike was getting too, is the protected bubble we live in called Colorado is ‘new’ and our kids have never experienced or seen first hand the effects of post industrialization on a city and the surrounding community. The Denver area is not old by any stretch when viewed through the lens of a mid west city; STL, Detroit, Cleveland, or even the city I grew up near, Trenton though not MW. I agree with 100% regarding the architecture in the MW, ours here is track homes and strip malls, with the ‘old’ stuff being built in the 80’s.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I lived in Michigan from 1999 to 2002 (Southfield) and did very much enjoy going to the Henry Ford Museum just to see the Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-6 “Allegheny” Type Locomotive 1601.

            I grew up about 30 min from Lima, OH were the locomotive works were (closed long before my time.) But it was cool to see such a massive example of industrial might in the metal.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        FreedMike,

        You’re not kidding about St. Louis. I’ve read and seen plenty about the city, and about “brick harvesters” who steal bricks from abandoned houses and apartment buildings – sometimes the walls collapse while they’re doing this – dangerous!

        My wife grew up in Alton, and her mom’s family still lives in the River Bend area, mostly on the Illinois side. I like the area, but yeah, there’s some scary places.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          For anyone wondering why St. Louis has so many scary places, this story should provide some context:

          https://abcnews.go.com/beta-story-container/US/st-louis-police-officer-accused-killing-colleague-russian/story?id=60745956

          So, apparently, drinking and playing Russian roulette are part of the daily routine of St. Louis city cops these days. If this is the kind of mental defective the city’s hiring for the police force, no wonder the crime rate is awful. Just insane.

          I’d have no problem living in the ‘burbs back home, but the city’s pretty much a basket case.

          • 0 avatar
            redgolf

            I also lived in the Detroit area growing up about 30 miles south (the downriver area) Henry Ford museum is a great place to visit but like redapple below states you can’t see it all in one day the museum and the village that is, what a collection of auto history and much more!

          • 0 avatar
            MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

            Well yeah Mike, I do live in the burbs, on some acreage with nice space between neighbors. I could never get my wife into the inner city for any length of time.

            Keep in mind the crime stats appear bad because this area has a unique setup with the city and county separate. Most cities stats have the city/county combined, and in fact there is a push to do that here, which would vastly alter the stats and no doubt the perceptions.

            The story of the cop shooting the other cop last week is really terrible, both had not only police training but also military training, so the idea of playing with a KNOWN loaded gun is pretty far-fetched. The general idea is that there is much more to the story. The victim was a young female cop, off duty, and had “stopped by” the male cop’s HOUSE at 1am, where he met her while HE was on duty. Oh and she was married, not to him but to another cop. Like I said, more to the story and not really fair to presume all cops behave that way.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            AFAIK, Miata, city crime stats are done the same way in every town. Example: when they report the crime stats in Chicago or Los Angeles, it’s for the city, not Cook County or L.A. County – if they included the county areas the rates would go down. Ditto for St. Louis.

            Unfortunately, the city (more accurately, half of it) has an awful problem with crime, and the causes are legion (poverty rates, failed schools, underfunded city, etc, etc…and I’ll toss political corruption and institutionalized racism right in there, and if that triggers people, so be it).

            Maybe merging the city with the county might help. I know there’s going to be a TON of resistance to that in the county. But if the region is to move forward, it’s the kind of thing that needs to happen. Kansas City had all the same problems St. Louis did, and has fixed a lot of them. It can be done.

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

            “So, apparently, drinking and playing Russian roulette are part of the daily routine of St. Louis city cops these days. If this is the kind of mental defective the city’s hiring for the police force, no wonder the crime rate is awful. Just insane.”

            Intentionally or not, I strongly suspect you have the cause and effect reversed there, FreedMike.

            Imagine the kind of societal vermin STL police officers must contend with every day, and how they’ve been demonized in the aftermath of Ferguson. We shouldn’t be surprised to see some of them break under that kind of pressure.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            No doubt you’re right, and cops have long been prone to doing crazy stuff because of stress. Russian roulette is not typically one of those things, though. That’s really sick behavior.

            As far as the cops getting a bad rap after Ferguson was concerned…probably also true, but then again, consider this: for police ANYWHERE in the greater St. Louis area, harassing black motorists was more or less a professional team sport for decades. It was rampant. Years ago, I overheard two cops in the suburb I grew up in (unnamed West County town that just happens to have a lot of country in it) bragging about how many n***ers they’d pulled over that night. A couple of years before Ferguson, they busted the mayor of Ladue for emailing the chief of police exhorting him to pull more minorities over. I had black co-workers who simply refused to drive through certain areas of the county if they had anywhere to be. And the court systems that turned traffic offenders into debt slaves. That nonsense happened for a LONG time.

            The only thing that surprised me about Ferguson was that it didn’t happen 20 years before it did.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            A little ‘off TTAC topic’ but in some cities, and Toronto is a prime example, crime has largely migrated from the ‘inner city’ to the suburbs.

            The city has become home to large numbers of young, urban professionals living in 500 sq ft condos that cost over $500k. In the inner city what had been rooming houses and low cost century homes are being renovated and selling for over $1.5 million.

            So the poverty is moving to the suburbs, where unfortunately there are less social services and inferior public transit.

            As for the Ford Museum, visited it twice in the 1970’s and loved it. One thing that the whole family remembers from the first trip, and I hope that this is still the case, is that in the washrooms, the taps were turned on/off and the toilets flushed by foot buttons/pedals. Far superior to handles and the problematic/too prone to breaking/expensive motion sensors now used in many public washrooms.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            No one actually believes that insane “Russian Roulette” story do they? These cops are dumb but it takes a special kind of dumb to not enough know how to actually play RR……

            There is way more to this story that the ST. Louis PD is not telling us.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …in the washrooms, the taps were turned on/off and the toilets flushed by foot buttons/pedals. Far superior to handles and the problematic/too prone to breaking/expensive motion sensors now used in many public washrooms…

            Safe to say you are not in the Facilities end of things. Those foot controls are difficult to service, hard to get parts for, and in most cases, the piping behind those walls is covered in asbestos insulation. So repair involves abatement staff and plumbers. No thanks. A flushometer mounted sensor head is easy to repair, saves water, an helps limit the spread of germs. And they have the lowest life cycle costs.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @GoldenHusky, Thanks. However the existence of asbestos is not truly related to the foot controls, it is a product of the time during which the museum was constructed.

            As to motion activated sensors, we have had so many malfunction/break in our manufacturing facilities that we have returned to standard handles.

            I had not considered the cost of repair for the foot pedals. Realize that ideally they must be installed during the construction phase, which is why we have not fully explored their installation.

            And parts would probably be close to the unobtanium level.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “A flushometer mounted sensor head is easy to repair,”

            Somebody PLEASE share this repair knowledge with the maintenance people responsible for the Atlanta airport bathrooms!!

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      I have not been to the Museum and Greenfield Village since I was a kid on family vacation, so sounds like it is time to go back.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        “Somebody PLEASE share this repair knowledge with the maintenance people responsible for the Atlanta airport bathrooms!!”

        _THIS_ .

        Before I retired I made a point of getting to know the Plumbers in our facility and asked why the auto flushers more often didn’t work than did ~ they all said “oh, it just needs batteries, let me know whenever it stops flushing, I’ll get it going in 20 minutes !” .

        So simple, just needs someone who cares abut doing their basic job .

        -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Honestly, I’d like to check out all of the different brands’ museums, not just Ford, GM and Chrysler(FCA). There are some older cars of defunct brands I would really like to see and photograph for my ‘collection’.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    So I guess that banner of how it used to look did not provide much reinforcement…..

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “The Packard plant bridge over East Grand Boulevard, target of lazy photojournalists for years…”

    And for years to come, we’ll see today’s image being re-used.

  • avatar
    detlump

    It’s pretty hard to fault the private owner of half of the bridge when the city of Detroit owned the other half and showed no signs of repairing their side. What should the private owner do? Restore half the bridge? It would have still collapsed, maybe sooner, due to the work disturbing the bridge. Then the private owner would be out X dollars for nothing.

    Really, the Packard plant should have been torn down decades ago. Even though it was well-built, it couldn’t complete with the more modern design of assembly plants. It could be argued that merely having the bridge acknowledged the obsolescence of the plant even when it was built, postponing the move to a more modern facility even then.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I’d still rather live in Detroit than California.

    Detroit’s a lot closer to being fixed.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      ROFL

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Probably because Detroit’s problems have been front and center news for some time. In CA, the voters just vote themselves tax increases and pretend the structural problems got fixed by the Lucky Charms elf.

      Detroit weather sucks, though. Especially this week.

    • 0 avatar

      No way. I would rather live in CA because of weather, wine countries (Livermore, Napa, Carmel valley) with great outdoor picnic areas and great restaurants, pubs and diverse cuisine in general. And do not forget twisty roads, views and vistas. True it is one party state but I used to live in one (communist) party state and well trained to hide my opinion and pretend being PC. If not California then I would try Oregon.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        What weather, you mean air conditioning?

        • 0 avatar

          We rarely use air conditioning and we live near Livermore Valley. If you live close enough to bay or ocean you do not need air conditioning at all and many units or houses do not have AC only heater. When we lived in apartment we did not have and did not need AC.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        California is lovely if you can afford it, for sure. I refuse to pay 10X for a house just like mine. I sure wouldn’t make anywhere near 10X the salary.

        • 0 avatar

          Listen, I paid for house $570K 6 years ago. Now it costs about $1.2 million. I just made aroud $600K in 6 years. I can buy bigger house in other state for cash and invest remaining half million to grow further. And doing that I enjoyed nice weather, wine country lifestyle , nice Californian food (may be expensive though) and exciting job. And note that I came to this country (to CA) 45 y.o. with all I had – $10K cash in my pocket and family to feed. American dream is still well and alive.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            @ILO :

            There you go again ~ using truth and facts, pearls before swine I tell you .

            Shortly before the big bust in 2008 I had people on my doorstep when I got home, checkbooks in hand offering me $700,000.00 for my crappy little 1158 S.F. Ghetto termite farm ~ they were flabbergasted that some Blue Collar schmuck in The Ghetto wouldn’t take the money and run .

            ? Where the hell to ? .

            Over the hill into sandville, home to rusty trailers and meth addled tweakers ? no thanx .

            My old White ass will stay right here where I know what I’ve got .

            It isn’t much but it beats where I came from by a long shot .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            You are one of the lucky ones. Do you expect that increase to go on forever?

            At some point the music stops.

          • 0 avatar

            When home prices hit bottom it was evident that will not last long, everything indicated recovery, so I pulled the trigger and after couple of month there started to popup multiple offers deals which means prices started going up fast. I wasn’t lucky, I just made informed decision. I also heavily invested cash in stocks funds right after 2008 crash.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Agreed 100% alpha. At least the recovery is well under way in Detroit, while things are still collapsing in California. If you need proof, just look at the hoards of people moving into nearby states.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    No one is ever forced to live in California, please leave .

    I always laugh when our Foster boys talk like any place in South Central Los Angeles is really bad, it isn’t .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      +1 I have lived in Los Angeles for 48 years, having moved from NYC. I am always delighted to see remarks about how bad California is. That attitude keeps another 40 million Americans from moving here.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Agreed .

        I too came from Down East and don’t miss it .

        A few months after I came to Los Angeles a local warned me to never, _EVER_ to to Watts ~ I’d already been there, interesting older crappy neighborhood but no big deal (lots and lots of old vehicles then and now) .

        Those who cry the loudest are always those who don’t actually know what they’re on about .

        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          After 2 days of -25DF here in SE Wisconsin I’d give my left nut to live in California… Checks real estate listings for California… Looks like it’s going to cost BOTH nuts to live there :(

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            …..Both nuts, one leg and three fingers off each hand ! .

            Mind you : I live in The Ghetto where it _used_ to be cheap, now the yuppies are driving nicer cars than the drug dealers, a mixed bag to be sure .

            It used to be mostly very quiet and families every where, riding bikes, playing basketball and so on .

            Now the rich assholes give me the fish eye as they drive by .

            I hear houses in Bakersfield are still cheap….

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Florida. A fraction of the cost, a fraction of the taxes, and in my part of the state they are dying to get out (I live in the God’s Waiting Room part). FLorida man provides cheap entertainment, but there aren’t any in this part of the state, since everyone is from up north anyway.

            78F and sunny today. After having spent the week in Roanoke VA freezing my nuts off for work it sure was nice to get off that plane to warm sun yesterday.

            When the weather here gets nasty, I will simply head to my place in Maine, which I can afford because it is so cheap here. Compared to being a Maine resident, the house in FL was free thanks to the tax savings.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I’ve lived off and on in Florida for the last 30 years, after losing two houses to hurricanes I decided I’d had enough Florida

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Lie2Me

            Mudslides and fires in CA, tornados in the Midwest, floods anywhere near water – Mother Nature is a b!tch all over the place.

            Buy a well-built house not too close to water and make sure to have good insurance.

            And to be honest, that is the other reason I still own my place in Maine besides the lovely summer weather there. But FL is cheap enough to make that an option.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        So, you never lived in America then

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Cali’s like Colorado, only moreso – if you can afford to live there, it’s great. If you can’t, it’s awful.

      I think a lot of the anti-Cali resentment comes from folks who can’t swing living there.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Mike – I’m pretty sure the anti-Cal resentment is more due to the fact that they keep electing Leftist idiots like Pelosi, Feinstein, Newsom, and Schiff who never met a tax, regulation, or illegal immigrant they didn’t like. Then when the Leftists they vote in actually enact so many taxes, and so many regulations, and offer so much free stuff to so many illegals that it becomes impossible to live in California, they move to Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, and Texas and vote for the same kind of Leftist idiots there to the “delight” of locals who were very happy to have minimal taxes, minimal regulations, and minimal illegal sanctuaries.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          That idiot Pelosi who is about ten times smarter than Trumpy and handed him his a$$ last week?

          Maybe you should consider decaf.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            He’s _very_ proud of his ignorance .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “That idiot Pelosi who is about ten times smarter than Trumpy and handed him his a$$ last week?

            Maybe you should consider decaf.”

            They are so smart that is why Trump is President and Hillary, Feinstein, Pelosi are not.

            Maybe you should try less crack…..

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Arguing whether Pelosi or Trump is worse than the other misses the point. They both suck. CA voters are fools for continuing to re-elect Nance and Trump’s election was a sign of voter desperation more than anything else.

            Even if you agree with their policies, they’re both terrible leaders for very different reasons.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Pelosi vs. Trump….Wasnt there a South Park episode about this involvint “Turd Furgeson and a Giant Douche” seeking office?

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          SR65 – “illegals” don’t even rate in the top 20 of problems in our country. Why is it the hard right is so focused on a second tier issue? Racism I suppose.

          Imagine what Cali would be like if it was run like a deep red state. LA would return to being a smog bowl like the 1970s. Those regulations are directly responsible for the improvement in air quality. Industry will only do what is best for itself. We count on our elected representative to do what is best for us.

          jkross – well said. And true. With all the people in this country the best we could come up with is Trump, Hillary, etc? Sad.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “SR65 – “illegals” don’t even rate in the top 20 of problems in our country. Why is it the hard right is so focused on a second tier issue? Racism I suppose.”

            Since the majority of the country disagree with you on illegals you are dead wrong. It is the single most important issue, with a boarder a country ceases to exist. Of course Lefties like you find that a feature not a bug.

            And of course ANYONE who wants to control who comes is a racists, cause with the left its all racist all the time. O

            Of course, if you want to know what a Leftist is just look at what he accuses his opponents of, just look at the KKK Hood wearing “Anti-Racist” Gov of Virginia………

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @markf: Those who will not recognize a problem are either willfully ignorant or part of the problem.

            Now, I agree with golden that the illegals are NOT the problem, at least, not the kind of problem that the politicians are claiming. The problem is that too many Americans are unwilling to take the jobs that these “illegals” are willing to perform, especially at the pay scale those “illegals” are willing to accept. Those specific “illegals” are actually a benefit to this country by helping to keep our infrastructure running by taking those low-paying jobs. In other words, that Border Wall is a ridiculous concept from beginning to end.

            The illegals we need to be searching for are the ones who overstay their LEGAL entry. They’re the ones taking engineering jobs and other higher-paying jobs that Americans should easily qualify for. Building a wall won’t stop those because they don’t come in through Mexico. The wall is nothing but a diversion from the more important issue and you, among others, are not willing to recognize that.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            LA smog was fixed when California was still a politically diverse state. It is unchecked immigration that turned it asphyxiated blue. The reason Democrats took off their ‘care about Americans’ masks is because not enough Americans are ignorant enough to vote for Democrats. They need people who don’t value the bill of rights if they’re to build their totalitarian utopia.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “The problem is that too many Americans are unwilling to take the jobs that these “illegals” are willing to perform, especially at the pay scale those “illegals” are willing to accept. Those specific “illegals” are actually a benefit to this country by helping to keep our infrastructure running by taking those low-paying jobs. In other words, that Border Wall is a ridiculous concept from beginning to end.”

            The old “jobs Americans won’t do” canard.

            (This completely ignores the criminals and drugs flowing across the boarder) Perhaps because all the illegals have driven wages so low Americans can’t or refuse to work at that scale. Employers do not have to pay any taxes on them making them desirable employees. No workman’s comp, health insurance or lawsuits.

            This is why Bernie sanders, before he totally lost it was 100% against open borders and illegal immigration, they only benefit the wealthy in search of cheap labor. They have destroyed the middle and lower class labor markets. Of course folks like you are 100% in favor because of the total demographic transformation that has taken place. New Democratic voters turning states like TX and AZ blue…….

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The old “jobs Americans to do” canard. (This completely ignores the criminals and drugs flowing across the boarder) ”

            No, Markf, it doesn’t. The simple fact is that your misspelling tells me that you reacted to that first paragraph before even finishing what I said. The problem is, those drugs are coming across the border under EXISTING walls or by air–so what makes you think more wall will stop them?

            Now… we really have a problem here. Guess who’s running our country? Are these people AVERAGE Americans, or are they wealthy, privileged Americans? I can tell you that the ones at the upper levels of government are almost all millionaires and business owners or executives–especially now. And unlike some I was aware of our President’s activities long, LONG before he considered politics. He has never been a ‘paragon of virtue’ the way some people see him today. And to be quite blunt, shutting down the government without even any ATTEMPT at compromise did far more harm to his constituents, even yourself, than good. You may not recognize that now but you will if he does it again. The US economy took a big hit by that action, not even considering this trade war with China. The next few years are going to be very expensive for Americans as a result.

            You say, “they (illegals) only benefit the wealthy in search of cheap labor. They have destroyed the middle and lower class labor markets.” Again… WHO is in charge of our country? The wealthy.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            G2H – so those regulations that require millions of dollars of studies and several years for permitting to build a new apartment or restaurant in California are helping the economy? Renewable mandates that give CA the most expensive electricity in the nation are helping the poor? Millions spent on public defenders to stop deportations of criminal illegals is tax money well spent? Diverting water from agricultural land to keep a small bait fish alive is a good use of resources?
            And those clean air regulations that you like actually worked because they were implemented when CA was a Republican state, but Democrats never know when to stop – costs and effectiveness be damned.

            And of course opposition to illegals must be racist because there could be no other reason for wanting existing immigration laws to be enforced, and opposition couldn’t possibly be because illegals dampen wages for low income Americans, or because they are net tax burdens on citizens, or because they are responsible for disproportionate amounts of violence and criminal activity. No it must be racism.

            Perhaps you might look at some statistics before you start calling names, but then again Lefties always resort to name calling because the facts are never on their side.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …The reason Democrats took off their ‘care about Americans’ masks is because not enough Americans are ignorant enough to vote for Democrats…

            Yeah, right. The Republicans use voter suppression and gerrymandering to keep the numbers as low as possible. Why? Because when more voters enter the stream, they tend to vote Democratic. Just look at the proven cases that were present this past election. That’s also why “motor-voter” rules were repeatedly shot down in my state – they didn’t want to make it simple for voting. Sorry, but the “blue” votes outnumbered the “red” ones in 2016. You wrote utter gibberish.

            markf- the bulk of the country does NOT view illegal immigration as the major problem this administration makes it. Try something other than Trump TV. Without question it is an issue locally, and rightly so. But a “major crisis”? Hardly.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The criminals (non workforce) enter the country correctly/legally too. But the bigger criminals are US employers and US officials handed (large sums) to look the other way, not enforce US law, etc.

            Or does anyone think the US would be a great place to move to and live illegally if there wasn’t any money to be made here, jobs offered? What if they had to live off of money, cash/wages made and sent (moneygram etc) from Mexico/Honduras/etc??

            If they didn’t have relatives in the US, would foreigners from that part of North/South America even think of vacationing here? If so it probably wouldn’t be their first choice.

            But probably a huge percentage of the criminals came here with the “right” intentions, feed their family back home, but drove drunk, got caught up in a scenario, bad choices were made, laws are different in “their country”, etc. But why are they here in the 1st place?

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “And to be quite blunt, shutting down the government without even any ATTEMPT at compromise did far more harm to his constituents, even yourself, than good.”

            No, it didn’t harm me. But its ok when Obama shuts down the Government right? “Compromise” to you means Republicans caving…….

            “You may not recognize that now but you will if he does it again. The US economy took a big hit by that action, not even considering this trade war with China.”

            https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/01/nonfarm-payrolls-january-2019.html
            This sounds like a lot of “damage”

            “Job growth in January shattered expectations, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 304,000, the Labor Department says.
            Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected payrolls to rise by 170,000”

            “The next few years are going to be very expensive for Americans as a result.”

            Yes, cause we won’t be able to buy cheap Chinese junk on eBay and Amazon……

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Racism. 100%. Full-stop. If it was white Europeans or Canadians sneaking across the border they would be welcomed with open arms.

            Reality is if they were actually SERIOUS about illegal immigration, we would simply have laws that bring the hammer down on EMPLOYERS who hire them. Trump resorts, for example. But THOSE people are typically Republican voters, so we can’t have that, can we. We will just call poor Consuella the illegal hotel chambermaid a rapist and baby-killer and build a wall to keep her out (which won’t, because she overstayed a legal visa).

            The Democrats aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the Republicans are a pack of racist, lying, hypocritical morons whose brains collectively fell out and they stepped on them. And anyone who makes less than $500K per year and votes for them is a moron too.
            That “trickle down” is the 1% peeing on their heads.

            And I say that as someone who generally voted Republican in his early voting life, and is not really all that liberal on many measures. Blowing up the national debt to give your donors a tax cut is NOT a conservative ideal.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “If it was white Europeans or Canadians sneaking across the border they would be welcomed with open arms.”

            Possibly. Although given the long history of strong animosity towards same-race immigration (and not only in US history) I have my doubts this would be the case.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “Racism. 100%. Full-stop.”

            Our people suck! Our people suck! Our people suck!

            Need more pom-pom?

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            ” If it was white Europeans or Canadians sneaking across the border they would be welcomed with open arms.”

            No, not quite :

            I actually know a nice fellow who hails from Canada, he’s some sort of computer device operator / troubleshooter etc. who’s much in demand by all those places that have huge public displays run by computers but he waited a couple years for a visa then made a run for the border and made a nice little life here in California until the Feds discovered him, they came and dragged him out right then & there, no waiting , no trial etc. .

            I don’t feel overly sorry or him because he jumped the line .

            The racism part, you’re correct but the racists here are all far too cowardly to ever admit it .

            FWIW, I was raised up to be a racist too, it was getting out in the real world that opened my eyes .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “The illegals we need to be searching for are the ones who overstay their LEGAL entry. They’re the ones taking engineering jobs and other higher-paying jobs that Americans should easily qualify for.”

            Translation: they take jobs from College Educated Whites.

            So when wages are pushed down and jobs taken from low-income minorities, that’s cool. But take them from college educated Whites…….

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …California was still a politically diverse state. It is unchecked immigration that turned it asphyxiated blue…

            How? Illegals can’t vote.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Vulpine They are doing the jobs that Americans don’t want other Americans to do because they will have to be paid more in wages and benefits and they are scared that a head of lettuce will cost more than 49 cents. As such we look the other way while the people doing those jobs Americans “won’t” are denied basic protections and the upward mobility (due to their status) that our vibrant economy offers to others. This nation once had a similar set up with regards to the production of cotton and other crops in the South. It is frankly as disgusting that we allow it now as it was back then.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “If it was white Europeans or Canadians sneaking across the border they would be welcomed with open arms.”

            Sooo, my family immigrated from Ireland and the stories that I heard would indicate that this isn’t true.

          • 0 avatar
            JD-Shifty

            replying to art vandelay. this site sucks for a conversation. the definition of white changes. eventually hispanics will be considered white, irish were not white back then

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Nate

            Re your example of the Canadian. Ultimately, the law is the law – but the thing is, he actually had a decent chance of getting a visa if he had been patient. Yes, it takes years, even from Canada or Europe. But compared to a random poor person from Central America, he had a decent chance of success. If you are poor, the ONLY chance is asylum. And even that is incredibly precarious. My best friend is a Hungarian who went through the whole process. He had a head start in that he got a job with GE, who sponsored him for a green card. He and his Hungarian wife are now US citizens raising their kids in my hometown in Maine (he went to U. Maine Machias on a full-ride basketball scholarship).

            @those talking about the Irish from 100 years ago. Yes, white on white racism was a thing. The Irish, and to a very slightly lesser extent the Italians, were looked down on as only slightly better than blacks back then. That was then, this is now, and millions and millions of them made it into this country anyway, regardless of how poorly they were initially treated.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “The problem is that too many Americans are unwilling to take the jobs that these “illegals” are willing to perform, especially at the pay scale those “illegals” are willing to accept.”

            THEN YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE FOR THE WORK!!!! I don’t care that your lettuce may cost more, or your house may be smaller…that’s how this works. Again, if we were having this argument in 1861 people like you would be supporting slavery so cotton clothes didn’t become more expensive.

            Goods are worth a certain price and that price is made up of several factors that influence the final cost. That’s capitalism.

            But one’s labor is also a commodity. Bringing in an entire group of people for the sole purpose of subverting the price that said labor brings goes against how our economy is supposed to work. Combine that with the fact that these people exist in a legal limbo and aren’t afforded the rights and protections of American workers and as such have no upward mobility and it is just wrong. Know what, make em legal. Then lets see if they keep working for those low wages or they come together and demand better once the threat of deportation is removed from anyone who complains.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t know that (criminal) lettuce growers aren’t making too much money as it is.

            The market sets lettuce prices regardless of costs to growers. The US won’t come to a grinding halt even with US citizens forced to pick the fruit (or no unemployment benefits), clean hotels, wash restaurant dishes, dig the ditches or otherwise shovel all the sh!t.

            Just a lot of fat cats and ashole politicians will have to take a meal downgrade, fly coach, XL/XLT pickups (YIKES!), Gap clothes, etc. And it does actually break my heart. But we would all survive.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        “Cali’s like Colorado, only moreso – if you can afford to live there, it’s great. If you can’t, it’s awful.

        I think a lot of the anti-Cali resentment comes from folks who can’t swing living there.”

        Untrue, Colorado is very affordable outside Denver. of course since you live in Denver you couldn’t care less about the rest of the state and therefore don’t even consider anything outside your bubble.

        Down here near Colorado Springs housing is affordable, low sales and property taxes. State income tax is reasonable. I am afraid that will all change very quickly now that Colorado is a solid Blue, one party state.

        I am moving this summer and as much as I love living here I am glad to be getting out……..

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          In the 70’s there were anti growth sentiments here in CO. There were bumper stickers that proclaimed “Don’t Californicate Colorado”. That ship has long since sailed. I realized recently that in a good number of places here, there used to be half as may lanes and half as much traffic in those lanes. So many activities and places here are so much more hassle (and expense, lots things that used to be free are not, parking and access to certain popular places come to mind) because so many more people are here wanting to do the same things. “Growth” is the wrong word for it. “Overcrowding” is. Toss in ever more measures of gentrification for an added sour note. I can remember when the population was less than half of what it is now. In many ways the quality of life here has declined.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “No, Markf, it doesn’t. The simple fact is that your misspelling tells me that you reacted to that first paragraph before even finishing what I said. The problem is, those drugs are coming across the border under EXISTING walls or by air–so what makes you think more wall will stop them?”

          Yes, it does. Building a wall, barrier, fence, is only part of the solution. Better enforcement and the elimination of the absolutely insane “Sanctuary Cities” would be a good start. Case after case, violent illegal aliens are released by local authorities because “sanctuary” Apparently violent crime is one of those jobs “Americans won’t do” so we need to import 14 million, 3rd world peasants to show us how……

        • 0 avatar
          JD-Shifty

          “getting out” and going where? Texas, Kansas, Florida? LOL

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            ““getting out” and going where? Texas, Kansas, Florida? LOL”

            Job is moving me to Europe, though not sure why Texas, Florida or Kansas should elicit an LOL I’d take any of them over Colorado

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “I feel sorry for you, Mark. What are you going to do when the economy drops out from under you… again?”

            Feel sorry all you like. The economic has “dropped out from under me” What are YOU going to do when Trump wins…again?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @markf: I’ll face that when it happens. He has yet to survive his first term before he can be re-elected.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “The Democrats aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the Republicans are a pack of racist, lying, hypocritical morons whose brains collectively fell out and they stepped on them. ”

          This what advanced Trump Derangement Syndrome looks like.

          Of course, like all Dems he forgets the Dems were the party of slavery, segregation and (still) the Klan (see robert Byrd and Ralph Northam)

          What was that esteemed Liberal Bill Maher said, oh yes. he asked a Black republican who was former CIA if he collected intelligence outside Popeyes Chicken.

          Just look at what leftists accuse others of, it tells you all you need to know……

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “The criminals (non workforce) enter the country correctly/legally too”

          FALSE. You cannot get a visa if you have a criminal background

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s right, but who said anything about them? The criminals actually arrested, let alone convicted, are but a tiny fraction of all criminals, as far as we know. Plus when you have corrupt officials (yes outside the US too), who the hell knows?

            One of the top drug traffickers in US history created a huge multi billion dollar empire, yet the Feds couldn’t put a name or face on him (Freeway Rick Ross) for several years. He was completely ghost, making up to 3 million bucks a day, probably while driving around a faded brown minivan.

            Then imagine the stuff that goes on in 3rd world places.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @markf:
          “I am moving this summer and as much as I love living here I am glad to be getting out……..”

          Good. Fake conservatives should all move to Russia.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “markf:
            “I am moving this summer and as much as I love living here I am glad to be getting out……..”

            Good. Fake conservatives should all move to Russia.”

            Correction. THIS is what Advanced Trump Derangement Syndrome looks like.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        I live in CA. It’s absolutely beautiful. But let’s get real…..

        It’s a profoundly mismanaged state. Take education as an example. K-12 school performance is abysmal. The 2018 CAASPP showed that less than 50% of students met or exceeded English at their grade level and less than 40% met or exceeded math skills for their grade.

        CA is a success despite it’s state government, not because of it.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          My understanding is they have a budget surplus. If so they are certainly less mis-managed than the Federal Government.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            There’s some funny math underlying the surplus.

            Google CalPERS corruption for where that rainy day fund will be spent. Either that or the $110 billion LA-SF crazy train that doesn’t have it’s funding and keeps hoovering up money.

            Arguing whether CA is less mismanaged than the Feds is like arguing what mountain in Oklahoma is tallest – it doesn’t really matter.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          California’s schools being moron farms is a feature. Nobody who can do math would vote for California’s public employee pay packages or benefits for illegal voters. Educated people would riot when the state burns every few years when Pelosi, Boxer and Costa did everything in their powers to prevent proper water management. Smart folks would notice that cities occupied by dangerous homeless junkies don’t have good quality of life.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Educated people would get themselves informed before making blanket statements that are so wrong. While some parts of your argument may be true, overall it is a gross exaggeration and indicative of someone more willing to accept hearsay as truth rather than inform themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            ” but then again Lefties always resort to name calling because the facts are never on their side.”

            I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Vulpine here but the facts are the facts and mindlessly repeating fox noise, breitbart, hannity etc., etc. proven to be false narratives endlessly doesn’t change the facts one bit .

            I understand completely : you’re envious that California truly is a ‘Golden State’, one with such a good economy that even when we’re down, we pay MORE in taxes and take LESS BACK than any two red states combined .

            Instead of being grateful, you’re envious and hate filled, you should be ashamed .

            Clearly non of you actually _live_ in California or you’d know that the instant you leave the three biggest cites here, things go red, extremely red, not Conservative, dishonest crony capitalism bad .

            It’s O.K. to have differing ideas but NOT O.K. TO LIE to support your clearly false and dishonest diatribes ~ that’s un American and not Conservative in any way .

            As mentioned : MOST of America doesn’t like the gop’s endless wars on the working class, non White people, Women and Immigrants .

            This is why the gop and no one else uses voter suppression, because they can’t win honestly .

            I too wish we’d enforce the current immigration laws instead of wasting time making a few gop members rich with this wall that isn’t wanted .

            It’s O.K. for your crooked side to grab billions of dollars for that but not for the train ? . hypocrite ! .

            I too don’t think the damn train will be any good but that’s not my call .

            -Nate
            (an actual Conservative who didn’t want hillary but trump is far worse)

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            As a Canadian reading this, I realize that I have to be circumspect. However I do agree that if illegal immigration truly is a national problem, then the first step should be to prosecute those who employ illegal immigrants.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            All of this shows one thing pretty clearly – The Russians got far more for their money than they expected. The disinformation campaign has divided this country better than they thought possible. Most of the “lefties”, myself included, are becoming more left and when I talk to my “righty” friends they admit they are hardening their rightward leaning feelings.

            Until all of us realize that compromise is not a dirty word, and a good deal is one that you did NOT get everything you wanted. We need a reboot badly. I’d gladly give a billion or so to a wall in trade for real action on climate change. Perfect compromise – I think the wall is a waste and most righties think climate change is a waste.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Arthur, maybe…but then again why should a business be on the hook when the Governments effort to enforce the border are half hearted at best.

            I also submit that when we talk if the “Southern Border” it is a misnomer. Why? Because enforcement at the Southwestern border is vastly different than the Straight of Florida on the Southeastern side. Want to build a wall on the Southwestern side to stop folks fleeing oppression and poverty = racist. Meanwhile on the Southeastern side will put Navy Warships between you and freedom and when we catch you there is no due process, asylum applications, or court hearing…the ship takes your kiester back to Cuba. Why are Cubans treated different than those coming from South and Central America?

            Again though, the truth is that most people dont want the employers or the illegal punished…we just want to be sure they are stuck where they are in perputuity so that houses and produce are cheaper. Its not slavery if we dont call it slavery, right? These people in 1861 would have been having conversations like “I really don’t like slavery, but man…I cant afford my Tee shirts if it goes away, so maybe it isn’t too bad”

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Nate, Here is my problem with California. I don’t care about your state’s politics and budgeting. Frankly that is between you and your elected officials. Run the state how you want…That’s America.

            But there are things like energy where it effects others. Your state has gone all in on green energy. That’s cool, and I applaud it. But you don’t produce what you consume.

            My state makes 20 percent of their energy from dirty old coal. Shame on us But wait, we export over 30 percent of the energy we produce. We could shut down all of our coal fired plants and still have a surplus were it not for states like California and Washington that can’t meet their customer’s needs.

            That means what you have done in California and other such states is transfer the dirty part of energy production to other states while you bask in the “look at us…we are so green” glory. It is a it hypocritical.

            It is a beautiful state and I love visiting there though.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Also @Nate, I despice the whole “Our state puts more in…your state should be thankful”. It is an INDIVIDUAL income tax assessment. I think at one time in our history taxes were levied on states as a whole but that is long gone. States don’t pay taxes, INDIVIDUALS pay taxes. California has a lot of one percenters. It’s cool, I’d live there too probably if I was in the one percent…or maybe the South of France, or Tuscany, or all 3, but the point is why should I be greatful? Do I get a discount on the massive check I write every April 15th because the return address is in a red state? I do not. Fact is when I say things like “I don’t like my taxes spent on X”, I get a whole bunch of people, many of which pay no taxes and in fact get refunds and make money from the tax code calling me a bunch of names and telling me to shut my mouth. That’s Alright (Though I would love to see credits only be able to take you to zero liability…the tax code should not be a tool of redistribution IMHO), you don’t get to say how taxes are spent outside of your vote. But the whole “You live in a taker state” refrain from people who likely make money off the tax code irks me. Maybe those people should be greatful to Aholes like me who have gotten in a position to owe a bunch of taxes every year regardless of the state I live in or my politics.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Not quite true Art ;

            There’s the federal taxes we pay far more of than we ever get back .

            We’ve been importing electricity for many decades , LADWP owns a coal fired plant many states East of here and if those who earn their living from it don’t like it they can of course quit and do something else or come here and work their butts off .

            The only real income distribution is from the working and middle classes _upwards_ to the 1%’ers, that’s another sad fact the droolers fail to grasp .

            I’m sure Tuscany is very nice, I’m an American by birth, Scots / Irish American and yes, I know all about how my long gone relatives were treated in the Bowery of New York City, a sad story etc., I don’t speak Gaelic nor none of that other stuff, I speak English as should all Americans if they want to succeed and prosper .

            Assimilate or perish, simple as that , what I did when I lived out of country and why I decided to come home again .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Nate. Again, yoou say “we” with respect to taxes. Unless we are talking corporate taxes and you are speaking of your company, there is no WE in taxes…It is an Individual affair. I live in a red state. I pay a metric crap ton in taxes. Again, the state of California doesnt pay a cent in income taxes…wealthy INDIVIDUALS in the state pay them. Same as wealthy INDIVIDUALS in any other state do. I emphasize wealthy because lets be honest, if you aren’t somewhat wealthy, with respect to the tax code anyway, it is YOU that are a taker. I could care less about the aggregate of your state. Maybe instead of “Be Greatful for California because we pay taxes” you should say “Be Greatful for wealthy individuals that pay all the taxes, wherever they are from”

            Furthermore, I don’t care that we burn some coal to sell electricity. Our population density and geography is such that it isn’t a big deal here. I’m just pointing out that the so called green states are less green than they would like you to think with respect to power generation and water consumption…something to keep in mind when they beat you over the head with how backwards you are.

            And I absolutely disagree with your wealth redistribution model. The owner of my company is rich beyond what I can imagine. I however have the ability to provide knowledge and services that is valuable to him and will help become richer, or at least maintain his wealth. As a result he “distributes” a handsome chunk of that wealth to me and a bunch of others like me. I am greatful because I desire to remain behind a keyboard and have no desire to put up with the crap he does daily and/or take the risks he did to start the company. I in turn distribute that salary in various ways that provide other people jobs in addition to the huge check I write to keep the government functioning every year which they in turn farm out to others. That is how our economy works and it has generated wealth up and down the spectrum for hundreds of years now. Sure there have arisin the needs for checks and ballances (primarily unions and laws), but it really works well.

            Tuscany and France are both wonderful, but I agree with you on being American. I love it here and am always taken aback by how beautiful it is when I return from somewhere else. I have no desire to assimilate into another country and would only live abroad if I had sufficient wealth to keep me from having to do so.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @jkross22:

          “CA is a success despite it’s state government, not because of it.”

          Exactly correct, and that’s true of most other states as well. The converse – that a state fails despite what the state’s government does – is also true in many cases.

          When you get down to it, there’s only so much any government can do to make a state succeed or fail.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Gents

    RE: The Henry Ford.

    I was a member for years. PLease note. It is really a complex of 2 parts. 1 The Henry Ford Museum. 2 Greenfield Village.
    You cannot see both in one day and do justice to them.

    PS- Immediately north is the Old Ford POEE building. One of the oldest buildings Ford owns. When I had meetings there, they preserved Henry Ford’s office. It was a time capsule. Very cool.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      The Henry Ford Museum is outstanding! Greenfield Village is good (during warm weather). Both in one day may not do them justice.

      One thing I didn’t see–the Ford Rouge Factory Tour… it is excellent. It is informative, educational, and fascinating, and credit to the Ford Family for spending the money to create this amazing tour–that also, I’m sure, will have some people so impressed they will buy a Ford truck.

      Basically, there is a slick video/movie, and then you can go and ACTUALLY SEE an assembly line, where they are building real Ford F-150s for public consumption.

      You stand on a ‘balcony’ / mezzanine about 15-20′ above floor level, and can watch the workers assemble cars.

      There are no guides, unfortunately, to explain what is happening. The only restriction is that no photography or video is allowed.

      TTAC people of all persuasions (like Ford, hate Ford) will enjoy this. That is pretty much how most automakers today build most of their products in most of their newer plants.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        The 2nd Ford manufacturing plant in Ontario from 1921 to 1953 was in what is now the Shoppers World ‘mall’ on The Danforth. It had (still has but they are bricked in) windows on to the street so that by-passers could watch the cars being assembled.

        When Ford left Nash assembled cars there for a couple of years before they moved (as part of AMC) to the new Brampton plant. Which was eventually taken over by Chrysler.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          I love all the history you guys provide .

          -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Ford’s Cambridge MA Assembly plant is still there on Memorial Drive next to MIT. It’s biotech lab space these days. Still a very beautiful building.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Assembly

          http://www.640memorialdrive.com/images/img1.jpg

          https://cloudflarecdn.commercialcafe.com/images/B4261994-AA55-4C76-AEF7-3C7DC68DF2EC/10267.jpg

  • avatar
    jhefner

    I saw this first on some of the industrial preservation forums I belong to on facebook. I knew Ronnie would be on top of it, and waited for his article.

    Someone mentioned the harvesting of bricks in St. Louis; some people claim what contributed to the collapse of the bridge was illegal scrapping of steel support beams in the bridge itself; that along with the weight of ice on it.

    Indeed, many cities have their areas of blight. When my wife and I were first married, we drove from Pittsburgh (where I was attended a class the next week) to Washington, DC to do the tourist thing. When we first drove into town we were scared to even stop; it looked like a warzone.

    The Henry Ford is great; but in some ways it is a shadow of what Henry Ford himself originally started. He started out repairing farm equipment, and was later a mechanic at an early power plant. He admassed over the years a huge collection of farm and railroad equipment and other steam engines; they made up the bulk of the Henry Ford.

    Some of his collection was scrapped during the WWII metal drives. Still more of it was scattered to the four winds in I believe the 1980s to make room for more contemporary stuff. It is still on my bucket list to visit along with Greenfield Village; but I wish I could have seen it went it still had the bulk of Henry Ford’s machinery collection.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      Interesting- I would have been there in the 80s, so I bet I saw a lot of what you’re talking about. I only wish my memory was better (and that we had had camera phones back then).

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        There were at least 20 pieces I am aware of; probably many more:

        * A c.1844 beam type steam pumping engine, now at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry, 225 North Gate Blvd (off I-25), Colorado Springs, CO

        * Multiple steam traction engines/steam tractors and portable steam engines; most are in private ownership now

        * Jay Leno’s c.1885 William Wright stationary steam engine you may have seen came from the Henry Ford.

        * The T&StL 2-6-0 steam locomotive (built by Grant in 1881) that was in the Sanfilippo Collection in Barrington Hills, IL came from the Henry Ford. Some of the other machinery there may have come from the Henry Ford as well.

        There are probably others. Some of these were actually sold off when Ford was fighting off a hostile takeover in 2001; along with several of their concept car collection.

    • 0 avatar
      z9

      One of the things I found fascinating about Greenfield Village is that all the buildings were purchased and brought to the site when Henry Ford traveled around the country and pointed at random houses he wanted to buy. Part of the vision of the place is that there is a high school on the site (which is still operating as far as I know) originally based on Ford’s quasi-crackpot educational philosophy that the modern citizen needs to be trained in the ancient arts and crafts. So he wanted the students to learn blacksmithing, butter churning, and so on. He also purchased Edison’s laboratory and recreated it on site. The folly of this whole enterprise, which admittedly resulted in something pretty cool to visit, puts the allegedly high-minded idiosyncrasies of our modern robber barons into broader perspective. The other fun thing I liked at the museum is the giant “melting pot” which was apparently the site of a ceremony in which immigrant Ford factory workers entered the pot wearing their traditional garb and came out wearing business suits as a way to commemorate their assimilation into American culture.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I believe actual Packard production ended at the plant in 1954, and the 1955-56 models (the last real Packards) were built in a smaller Conner avenue plant purchased from Briggs who had formerly supplied Packard bodies. The bridge was built to accommodate the new mid-priced 120 and 110 (junior) lines introduced in the mid-30s, when annual volume increased about 5 fold versus the senior lines. If I remember correctly, the black and white exterior photo was taken on Packard’s last day in Detroit in 1956, when all production (of the infamous Packardbakers) was shifted to the Studebaker plant in South Bend for 1957-58. So the remaining elements of the plant have been empty hulk free of car production longer than Packard was in the automobile business.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Very interesting and good info – also interesting that Studebaker also controlled Pierce-Arrow for a time – but just before and during the Great Depression (I live in the Buffalo area), and that the Pierce-Arrow plant – which still stands – was also designed by Albert Kahn.

      Ironic that a company that started building horse- and oxen-drawn wagons in 1852 would go on to acquire and eventually outlast these two luxury carmakers.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        With all the talk of museums, I’ll put in a good word for the Studebaker museum in South Bend. Lots of automotive history (not just Studebakers) and company history going well back into the 19th century. The museum is also attached to a turn of the century mansion built by a heirs to an agricultural industrial fortune that offers tours showing how the rich lived back then. Good way to spend an afternoon if you’re in South Bend.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Fordson – Packard fans (and to lesser degree Pierce fans) would argue that Studebaker killed the two luxury brands due to financial mismanagement. Packard actually had the more modern technology, more modern plants, and fairly strong financial position when they merged with Studebaker, who intentionally lied about their precarious financial situation and very high breakeven production levels. Yet somehow Packard was the one that got closed down and Studebaker survived until 1966.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          I would agree with regards to Packard.

          for Pierce – just the wrong place at the wrong time…so many blue-chip nameplates went kaput in the Depression…

          I always thought it was a minor miracle that Packard survived the Depression.

          Lincoln, Caddy – as brands – and Imperial – as a model – survived because of the huge numbers of low-priced Ford, Chevy, Dodge and Plymouth models sold.

  • avatar
    VanillaMan

    I’m glad it is gone.
    It helped no one during the past 64 years of abandonment.
    It merely reinforced the notion that Detroit can’t be saved.
    It is one thing to abandon a piece of property – it is quite another to abandon an entire city. Shame on us, for walking away leaving behind our litter and filth for the abandoned citizens to deal with.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Back in the 1990s my high school history teacher referred to Detroit as America’s 1st Doughnut City – meaning the inner core was hollowed out but (at that point) the suburbs were still doing fairly well.

      A sad commentary along with the abandoned properties in a city that once had America’s highest (% wise) homeowner rate.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      “Shame on us, for walking away leaving behind our litter and filth for the abandoned citizens to deal with.”

      ? Who is this ‘we’ you mention ? .

      The rich folks that killed Detroit are too busy counting their $ to look back and what they did there .

      I have friends who chose to stay and they’re doing O.K. mostly and all are very proud of the resurgence that everyone said would never happen .

      It’s tough to live near one of these failed manufacturing cities ~ my eldest sister lives in Cleveland Heights and going down the hill into Cleveland proper, is it like entering a war zone, sad .

      -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I taught on 7 Mile Rd for 2 years fresh out of college. The guy who was teaching Science (and had formerly been a pharmaceutical rep.) had one of those big old mansions (complete with 3rd floor maid’s quarters) that the wealthy had abandoned after the riots.

        Although he had seen his older brother killed during those same riots.

        • 0 avatar
          redgolf

          me and my buddies drove to Detroit from the downriver area in 67 just to have a look at what was going on with the riots, we were in a 66 Olds 442/4 speed, when we arrived and seen all of the fires going on with the army guards standing around with their m16’s and then there it was, an army tank! Whoa, it’s time to get back on I75 and head home before we got fire bombed! crazy time!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            As a little kid we were on our way to Montreal for Expo ’67 and drove through Detroit the evening before the riots started. My parents have often remarked of the tense and uneasy vibe they felt driving through Detroit that day, little did they know

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      “Shame on us, for walking away leaving behind our litter and filth for the abandoned citizens to deal with.”

      Maybe they too should rent a U-Haul and learn to code with the Coal Miners and HuffPo “journalists”

  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    I don’t think anyone went into any detail about Greenfield Village.
    Henry Ford collected houses and whole estates. Picked them up and moved them to Detroit. There’s part of the Edison worksfrom New Jersey. Henry Firestones Farm. Edison electric works from when he wanted to use DC current to power everything. Plus houses of all style preserved and restored. It is an amazing place and I agree to others who say one day for the Museum and one day for Greenfield Village. Henry Ford was quite a collector.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Very well written piece, with excellent photos.I’m waiting for my 4 year old son to get older to make my Detroit trip. He’s really into cars and trains, anything mechanical

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Went to Detroit the first time in the Summer of 1965 when I was a teenager. I toured Ford Headquarters and took a GM Bus (that’s right because Ford didn’t make a transit bus) over to the River Rouge plant and watched them make steel (the floors were so hot it burned your shoes) and then watched them stamp out body panels for the 1966 Mustang. I went to the Henry Ford museum and toured Edison’s lab, the Wright Brothers bicycle shop, and saw restorers at the museum restoring an old car. It is well worth the visit. I was a car nut growing up and loved to assemble the AMT 3 in 1 car kits. Really loved some of those 60’s cars such as the 63 Riviera, 63 Grand Prix, 63 Ford XLT, Impala SS, and a few others. Loved the car designs from the 60’s.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      I almost hired in to the Rouge plant in 68, after I quit my job at Great lakes Steel in Ecorse my buddies and I all went down and would have been hired that day except the Dr. giving physicals came out to tell us he didn’t have the time to give us a physical, “come back tomorrow and bring your lunch, you’ll be put to work the same day”, he said! I went home and called my older brother to tell him the good news, his reply was “oh no! you don’t want to work there, put it off and I’ll get you hired at Dana”, where he worked. About a month later I was working at Dana, all of my buddies had quit Ford, terrible jobs and dirty work conditions! Yeah the glorious cars of the 60’s, I had a black 63 Pontiac Catalina 2 dr. a 69 Camaro hugger orange,my brother had a Galaxie 63 1/2 xl convertible and a 64 T Bird, those were the days!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    As for blighted downtowns there are plenty. Dayton Ohio has done a lot to revive their downtown area but the part of town where the Delco/Delphi plant was is very blighted. The old plant is torn down but the surrounding neighborhood is mostly boarded up with the paved streets returning back to dirt. Looks like something out of apocalypse. Doesn’t take long for deterioration to take place and then back to nature. It is hard for many areas that were once manufacturing hubs to recover especially in middle America.

  • avatar
    multicam

    How did that whole discussion up there about St. Louis happen without anyone bringing up East St. Louis? My understanding- someone correct me if I’m wrong, this is based off a conversation years ago with a buddy of mine who went to WashU- is that East StL is actually a separate city from StL, and the real bad crime is in East StL. My friend told me you didn’t go there at night… if you were black. If you were white you didn’t go there, day or night. He said cops only would respond to calls in the day, and usually only in force. Don’t know how true this all is.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Hasn’t that been true for East St. Louis for a long time. I heard that East St. Louis was dangerous in the 60’s.

  • avatar
    markf

    “Imagine what Cali would be like if it was run like a deep red state. LA would return to being a smog bowl like the 1970s. Those regulations are directly responsible for the improvement in air quality. Industry will only do what is best for itself. We count on our elected representative to do what is best for us.”

    Right, cause that is exactly what Texas looks like. You total lack of sense is quite amusing…..

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @ MarkF: Population density in Texas and geographic/geological conditions are much different than in California and L.A. in particular.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ..I am sure there are many factors that would affect it the poster was referring to “Red States” meaning he was speaking in terms of political ideology, not population and density…

      I am referring to a given situation – LA – and how it would be dealt with politically.

      If a Texas city had the same geology that created a bowl like the LA basin, then yes, Texas would have had the same situation. Texas as a whole is a huge state. Your counterpoint is loaded with holes.

      A bigger issue is the unintended consequences of a given regulation, even if the ultimate goal is met. Since Colorado is mentioned here a lot, lets take Telluride CO. A phenomenal ski town, and a great place to go. It also has the same type of bowl like LA in that pollutants get trapped inside. The smoke came from burning wood and coal in fireplaces and stoves. The solution was to issue permits for limited use. The plan worked – the trapped smoke issue went away. But the unintended consequences occurred with the permits. They were initially issued to the residents but they could be sold. The price exploded, and the richest people ended up with them because, well, they had the money. Most locals can’t afford the $10K or more for the permit on the open market, but the wealthy who build $4M homes on the mountain certainly can. The end result was that the average person can’t enjoy an open fire but the fat cats can, that is when they spend their 3 weeks a year on the mountain. Regulations have to be designed with this kind of behavior in mind.

  • avatar
    markf

    “@ MarkF: Population density in Texas and geographic/geological conditions are much different than in California and L.A. in particular.”

    I am sure there are many factors that would affect it the poster was referring to “Red States” meaning he was speaking in terms of political ideology, not population and density.

  • avatar
    AdamOfAus

    Again with the Democrats in the comments. What is wrong with you people?

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    How vapid and bereft of intellect do you have to be to not discriminate between Kansas and Colorado?

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      ‘How vapid and bereft of intellect do you have to be to not discriminate between Kansas and Colorado?’

      Not nearly as vapid and bereft of intellect to actually write that sentence.

  • avatar
    markf

    “I feel sorry for you, Mark. What are you going to do when the economy drops out from under you… again?”

    Feel sorry all you like. The economic has never”dropped out from under me” What are YOU going to do when Trump wins…again?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I dont grasp your line of thought @markf. I don’t care who you are or where your politics fall, if your daily life revolves around who is in the White House, you live a sad life. Ford was in when I was born, but my adult life has been Clinton on. I mean I have preferences based on how I feel one or another will impact my earning potential and bottom line, but I’ve always managed to live a fairly happy and fulfilling life regardless of who was in office. This will continue should Trump get reelected, Any of the 18 Democrats win, or should Lrr from planet Omicron Persei 8 seize power. If you are dependant on who is in office, you are doing life wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        I suspect that a great many of our right-leaning commenters are proud that our President bases a lot of his actions on the opinions of a blonde transvestite and an obese opioid addict. When those two aren’t sending rays of sunshine through their day it’s back to t.v. news featuring old fat white guys who only see naked women when cash money is involved. With our right-leaning commenter’s various news sources, it’s a contest of picking the prettiest pig in a herd of swine. These news sources tend to be churlish and nasty and their followers are amazed that more people don’t like their news heroes or adopt their attitudes. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who is disgusted whenever the old white guys go off (get off?) on multiple-response rants. Please look up Cragislist Rants-n-Raves and join those who share your views. The rest of us come here to read about cars. The info on the Henry ford Museum and various comments on car company histories were greatly appreciated.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          ” Isuspect that a great many of our right-leaning commenters are proud that our President bases a lot of his actions on the opinions of a blonde transvestite and an obese opioid addict.”

          This is Left, homophobic, fat shaming, addict shaming all in one comment

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        I don’t care who is in the Whitehouse. I only mentioned Trump cause 2 years later and they still aren’t over it. Plus they go ballistic at the mention of his name. It is very amusing.

        I didn’t care for Obama or Bush or Clinton but they had no effect on my day to day life. Local government is much more important.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” I also heavily invested cash in stocks funds right after 2008 crash.”

    The wise move to be sure .

    When investing, look to the long play, not clash, grab cash and slip ~ that’s how most loose out .

    ‘heavy investment’ means different things to different people, I too gathered all the $ I could and fleshed out my investments, I don’t ever expect to touch them, they’re for my grand kids who’ll inherit them for better or worse .

    -Nate

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