August 18, 2015

General Motors plans to convert a historic factory building near downtown Flint, which some consider the company's birthplace, into an archive and research center.

On Saturday, just before the kickoff for Back to the Bricks, the automaker announced it would invest millions into the Durant-Dort Carriage Co. "Factory One" building that it purchased in 2013. The company has already spent about $3 million on fixes to the 25,000-square-foot building.

The building was leased in 1886 by Flint Road Cart Company founders William Crapo Durant and Josiah Dallas Dort. Durant later took control of Buick Motor Company, used Buick's success to found General Motors and eventually helped form Chevrolet.

"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 executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, said in a press release.

Renovation plans call for an archive and research center on the building's first floor, with an automotive collection from Kettering University. The second floor would be made into a meeting area for the automaker, as well as for the community and educational groups.

The Telegraph