Fisher Body 21 is a former automobile part manufacturer and assembly plant that was built in 1919. It’s capacity was over 370,000 automobile bodies per year and its customers included: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Hudson, Oldsmobile, Packard, and Studebaker. The unique trademark “BODY BY FISHER” number-plate could be found throughout any of these vehicles, all the way from the early 1900’s until the 1990’s. As the production of the automobile increased in Detroit over the years, Fisher Bodies were in huge demand. Most of them were produced and manufactured here in Detroit; right here at Fisher Body 21.
Fisher Body 21 was located at 700 Piquette Avenue, between Hastings Street and St. Antoine Street. Fisher Body 21 was a six-story building, constructed of reinforced-concrete and glass-wall construction, to allow the plant to operate mostly in natural light. Fisher Body 21 was designed by noted-Detroit architect Albert Kahn, and was a classic example of his brilliant industrial design. The building continued manufacturing automobile bodies and parts all the way until 1984, when the plant seized all operations and was vacated.
In 1990, Fisher Body 21 became Carter Color Coat Company. Carter Color Coat Company used the building for large industrial painting and spraying. The Carter Color Coat Company closed in 1993 and abandoned the plant. Since the Carter Color Coat Company abandoned the plant in 1993, there has been numerous “talks” to re-purpose the historic building. In efforts to to re-purpose the building, in 2004 and 2008, the EPA found that the site was heavily contaminated by hazardous material from when the building was in use. There was an effort to clean up the site so the police could use the lot as an impound for cars. Although the site was cleaned up, the EPA claims that site is still contaminated and needs more work. The police impound lot has also left the property.
As of 2015, Fisher Body 21 remains abandoned and a symbol of the rise and fall of the auto industry in Detroit.