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DEARBORN - On Sept. 29, 1953, Ford Motor Company celebrated the groundbreaking for its new World Headquarters on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Mich. The building would be completed in 1956 and would house the company’s Central Staff personnel.
The project was first announced in 1950, however plans were put on hold due to building restrictions placed on new construction by the U.S. government in light of the Korean War.
After the restrictions were lifted, plans for the new construction were altered according to changes in the company’s office space requirements.
The 12-story building was located on a 120-acre site, and was intended for use by more than 3,000 employees. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill were the architects and engineers.
Highlights of the building at the time included air conditioning throughout, movable interior partitions to provide maximum flexibility of floor space and an attached three-story structure containing the employee cafeteria, dining rooms and other services as well as enclosed parking facilities.
At the time, the company’s headquarters were located in a building on Schaefer Road in Dearborn. The Schaefer site became the central office for approximately 1,300 Lincoln-Mercury Division staffers. However, nearly 2,600 Ford Division team members remained at the “new” office building on Plymouth Road in Livonia, Mich., which was completed in 1951.
Ford Motor Company
World Headquarters Facts
• 12 stories tall
• 200 feet tall
• Approximately 950,000 square feet
• Nearly five acres of glass
• Nicknamed "The Glass House"
• Rededicated as the "Henry Ford II World Center" on June 12, 1996