Thieves target massive water tower at Packard Plant in Detroit

Brazen scrappers are trying to knock down the enormous water tower at the abandoned Packard Plant before a potential new owner takes over the sprawling ruins.

We spotted the thieves grinding down rusted metal supports over the weekend as the massive tower creaked and shifted in the wind. A nearby resident tipped us off because he fears someone will be injured or killed if the tower collapses.

The small group of scrappers has been tearing apart the Packard Plant for years, showing little concern for the safety of passersby and motorists. In October, they were responsible for a partial building collapse that sent large concrete chunks onto Concord, causing the street to be indefinitely closed.

The scrappers have been remarkably casual and unimpeded by law enforcement.

The iconic tower was built in the mid-1920s and rises high above the concrete ruins of the Packard, which has been largely vacant since the 1950s. The tower was designed to hold 75,000 gallons.

The plant was designed by famed architect Albert Kahn.

We’ll continue to monitor the scrappers.

Check out photos from our recent trip to the Packard.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • nignogger

    I’m sure the scrappers are nignogs, and “dey crazy! Also, dey aint thinking either. Tthis is a very dangerous move to bring the tower down, even if they had demo experience. Who knows which way it would come down. Their might be water still in it,even partial. I have seen demo water towers in Chicago, they take to vessel off first using a crane. Then each leg via crane. That’s how whites bring shit down,

  • Dust Buster

    when they sucker comes down i hope its while the thugs are cutting its supports. if they leave their “job” and high winds come a few hours later, what happens to the random person that will get crushed like a mosquito.

  • Fenderaddict2

    THe tower needs to stay, even if the place is refurbished.

  • Urbex Archangel

    I’ve heard rumors of groups going to guard it. It would be nice if it were true.

    • red

      i was going to guard the cars on the weekends because the guys we PAY to “watch” cars, break into them. we were going to go sit there and tell everyone to go have fun and to not pay these assholes.
      but then i figured “fuck everyone”

  • Guest

    they shoul

  • GP For Life

    Bad link here: In October, they were responsible for a partial building collapse that sent large concrete chunks onto Concord, causing the street to be indefinitely closed.

  • DIRK DIGGLER

    Them Negros is crazy … 🙂

    • Tom Jabron

      Probably some dirty trailer park white boys coming down to the D to find some scrap.

      • DIRK DIGGLER

        Its a possibility, but most likely its some NEGRO with a 1977 Chevy pick up truck that sags from all the junk that’s in the back…

  • goonsquad

    Monitor? Shouldn’t you be calling the police?

    • Vick

      Is this a serious question? You must not be from around here. Police only respond to confirmed shootings. Everything else is trivial.

  • Peter Murray

    I’m surprised she’s lasted this long. When that tower comes down, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it.