The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
HIGHLAND PARK PLANT
Albert Kahn Associates
Detroit, Michigan, 1909 - 17
Highland Park, Ford Factory, Albert Kahn Architect, Detroit, 1910. Courtesy Albert Kahn Associates.
Photograph © Christopher Hall
In 1909, Henry Ford hired architect Albert Kahn to design the Highland Park plant in Detroit, a factory that pioneered revolutionary production methods. Nicknamed the Crystal Palace for its large steel casement windows, its gridded concrete construction system allowed for a four-story building with open floors and service units with vertical circulation at the corners. In the years following, Ford continued to add to the Highland Park campus, including long buildings with their signature sky-lit crane ways for moving materials. In 1913 Ford advanced assembly line technologies for mass production; by 1920, one Ford rolled off the assembly line every minute, and half the automobiles in the world were