This ca. 1940 photograph shows workers assembling Chrysler roofs ...

Black and white image of workers assembling automobiles

This ca. 1940 photograph shows workers assembling Chrysler roofs at the Charlevoix Plant once located on Detroit, Michigan's east side.

The Charlevoix Plant was originally built for the Liberty Motor Car Company in 1919 on Conner Street between Charlevoix Street and Mack Avenue. After the Liberty Motor Car went into receivership in 1923, the plant was purchased by the Budd Company in 1925 to manufacture prototypes and all-steel automobile bodies for various Detroit automakers. The plant was closed in 2006 after Thyssen AG, which purchased the Budd Company in 1978, declared bankruptcy; the plant was later demolished in 2017.

The Budd Company was a manufacturer of steel automobiles, passenger rail cars, and other transportation products. Founded in 1912 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company, the manufacturer began its life as a manufacturer of all-steel body automobiles. The company then became a major producer of automobile parts as well as a manufacturer of stainless steel passenger railroad cars and other products.

This photograph is part of Hagley Library's collection of Budd Company photographs (Accession 1999.228). This collection’s photographs focus on the Budd Company's rail division with some images of automobiles and wheel products and manufacturing. The bulk of the materials date from the 1940s, 1950s and the 1980s. There are exterior and interior views of plants showing both railroad car and automobile parts manufacturing. Many of the photographs are by well-known commercial photographers Robert Yarnall Richie, William M. Rittase, and Richard T. Dooner. To view this collection online now in our Digital Archive, click here.