The closing of the St. Paul Ford Plant signaled the end of an era, both for the Twin Cities and for the Ranger pick-up that was produced there. Built in 1925, the plant once produced Model-T’s, and through the years has ingrained itself into our local history. Unfortunately, Ford plans to demolish many of the buildings on the site, leaving us with a Ford Parkway Bridge that leads to…well, who knows?
But there are those sounding the call for preservation and redevelopment. From MPR:
[H]istorian Brian McMahon, who is writing a book about the plant, said the company should save the MnSCU training center built in 1999 and the original factory building from 1925 so they can be reused in a future development.
“We want to mark the fact that this was an important landmark in Minnesota history,” McMahon said. “And there’s no way to better do that than saving a portion of the old and the new.”
Officials at Ford say they will save ornamental materials from the plant, but still plan to tear it down.
The future of the Ford Plant buildings are unknown, but it’s a future worth fighting for. In the meantime, here are some historic photos of the plant, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society and Ford.
Sean Kittridge is the digital media intern for PAM. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.