The Ford River Rouge Plant was a massive factory complex that was owned and operated by Ford Motor Company. The factory complex is located on the Rouge River, at the border of both Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan. Construction of the Ford River Rouge Plant began in 1917 and when it was completed in 1928. Many of the buildings at the Ford River Rouge Plant were designed by Albert Kahn. At nearly two miles wide and 16 million square feet of factory floor space, the Ford River Rouge Plant had become the largest integrated factory in the world. The Ford River Rouge Plant was almost like a city within a factory. It had it’s own railroad system, electricity plant, and steel mill. The Ford River Rouge Plant was able to turn raw materials into automobiles all within this single complex. In it’s peak, the Ford River Rouge Plant employed over 100,000 workers.
In the summer of 1932, renowned-artist Diego Rivera studied the facilities at the Rouge and turned his studies into his “Detroit Industry” masterpiece that has been on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts since it’s completion in 1933.
The Ford River Rouge Plant is still in operation today, but some of the original complex sections have been abandoned since the 1980’s. In the 1980’s, a few of the older sections were closed when some of the Ford’s production had ceased operations. These sections remained abandoned through the years, but it is near impossible to get into the Ford River Rouge Plant without permission or being an actual Ford Employee.