Project Description

The Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse was built in 1937 and was located at 2900 Orleans Street at the corner of Wilkins Street in Detroit’s Eastern Market district.  The building was originally Allen Industries, a carpet and pad manufacturer.  In 1959, Frederick and Herrud Packaging bought the warehouse and made it their new meat plant.  Frederick and Herrud Packaging converted the three-story, brick structure into a 60,000 square-foot meat processing and packaging plant.  In 1984, Frederick and Herrud changed their name to Thorn Apple Valley.  Thorn Apple Valley took off and was a dominate force and major success in the meat industry.  At it’s peak, Thorn Apple Valley could produce over 1,000 meat packages per hour.

Thorn Apple Valley began to struggle as many other meat processing plants began to open up in the area.  Throughout the 1990’s, Thorn Apple Valley continued to layoff employees and when they couldn’t fix the broken coolers and other malfunctioning equipment, it became inevitable that they were going to close down production for good.  Thorn Apple Valley finally closed the slaughterhouse in 1998 and was bankrupt by the following year.  Since it’s closure in 1998, the once state-of-the-art slaughterhouse and processing plant was scrapped, vandalized, and tagged with graffiti.

As of 2015, the Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse is standing, although barely.  With the new “Dequindre Cut Greenway” being extended through behind the former slaughterhouse, maybe something with made from this huge eyesore.