Ford Valve Plant, photo submitted 1995 Ford Valve Plant, photo submitted 1995
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Ford Valve Plant
235Main Street, Northville - Wayne County
Other Names Ford Plant
Property Type brick building
concrete block building
Historic Use INDUSTRY/PROCESSING/EXTRACTION/manufacturing facility
Style Art Deco
Architect/Builder Albert Kahn
Henry Ford
Significant Person Henry Ford
Narrative Description The Ford Valve Plant was originally located on 4 acres on Northville's Main Street at the northeast corner of Griswold Street just east of Northville historic downtown commercial area. The site is irregular in shape. It is roughly 400 deep and 280 feet wide. The site is flat and is bordered by the Rouge River to the north and east.
Statement of Significance This Ford Valve Plant exemplifies the desire of Henry Ford to soften the social impact of his manufacturing innovations through the establishment of village industries. The village industries were to decentralize manufacturing and re-integrate it into rural communities. In 1919 Henry Ford purchased the site with its mill and established the first of his village industries. In 1936 he replaced the mill and built the first modern factory for his village industries. Although the village industry experiment was halted in 1947, this plant continued in operation until 1978, longer than any of the other village industry sites. The 1936 building was designed by Albert Kahn, an architect known for his innovative factories and responsible for many of Ford's factories. The building reflected current industrial technology and architectural styles. At the same time it incorporated a water wheel, reflecting Henry Ford's desire to incorporate the factory into his vision of a productive rural community.
Period of Significance 1936-1945
Significant Date(s) 1936
Registry Type(s) 08/01/1995 National Register listed
Site ID# P3556