As the birthplace of the Ford Model T, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was the Ford Motor Company’s first factory where automobiles were manufactured and assembled. The very first 12,000 Model T cars were assembled here, then delivered by railroad. Ford Models B, C, F, K, R, and S were also assembled at the plant.
After the Ford Motor Company relocated in 1910, this stunning late Victorian style brick building with wooden post and beam frame was occupied by other Studebaker automobiles, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company and Cadillac. Almost doomed for demolition, the non-profit organization - The Model-T Automotive Heritage Complex, Inc. - stepped in to preserve the historic plant in 2000.
The plant was restored and transformed into a museum and education center for visitors from around the globe. Today, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is one of the most compelling automotive heritage sites committed to preserving the historic building and creating a window into the early automotive innovation in Detroit. We caught up with Executive Director, David Platt, to talk about the Plant’s collaboration with Matterport.
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Q: What inspired the 3D capture of Ford Piquette?
RJ Pittman, CEO Matterport, visited the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant with his family. His father Ray Pittman is on our board and he helped set up the tour. I met with RJ and his family that day and he discussed with me the possibility of doing a 3D tour of the museum. RJ sent me a link to a 3D tour of a French Villa and I was very impressed with the quality.
Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why.
The "must-sees" at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant include Henry Ford's office, the "Secret Experimental" room where the Ford Model T was invented and designed, the station assembly exhibit, the Ford dealership display, and the Porter "Alphabet" car collection which is the only complete collection of early Ford cars on display.
Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after enjoying Ford Piquette in 3D?
The main take away I want people to see after enjoying the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is how unique the facility is in regards to architecture and car collection.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
I am glad to have the high quality 3D virtual tour of the museum on our website which has greatly enhanced the online visitor experience to the museum. Hundreds of people view this tour on a weekly basis. During times when the museum has been closed, it has allowed visitors the opportunity to go on a virtual tour any time of the day, seven days a week. People all over the world are able to visit and students from any school have an equal chance to see the museum. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a better place for having a 3D virtual tour available for our guests and we greatly appreciate the hard work of Matterport and VTS for making it all possible.
To learn more about the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, please visit: https://www.fordpiquetteplant.org/.