General Motors Co. said Saturday it will invest millions of dollars into the historic Durant-Dort Carriage Co. “Factory One” building in Flint to turn what some consider the birthplace of General Motors into an archive and research center.
The Detroit automaker in 2013 purchased the 25,000-square-foot building just north of downtown Flint on West Water Street for an undisclosed amount. GM has invested about $3 million into repairing the exterior, installing new windows and doors and new fencing around a parking lot.
“Factory One truly is the epicenter of the automotive industry and, as such, it makes sense to create a world-class archive where anybody can learn how carriage builders in Flint launched the global auto industry,” Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, purchasing and supply chain operations, said in a statement. Reuss was scheduled to attend a news conference Saturday in Flint about the building’s renovation plans.
The archive and research center — which will house an automotive collection from nearby Kettering University — will be on the first floor of the building’s east wing. The second floor will be converted into a meeting area for GM, as well as the community and educational groups who could use it for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes, seminars or research. The west wing of the facility will house classic vehicles and other items from the carriage-building era.