Durant-Dort Carriage Company Headquarters building, a National Historic Landmark
A once-forlorn three-story brick building, a survivor from the 19th century near downtown Flint, Mich., is today restored as a National Historic Landmark. Its rescue from the wrecking ball in the 1970s stemmed from its rediscovered role in the birth of one of the world's largest industrial corporations - General Motors.
It was elegant when built in 1895-96 as headquarters of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, said to have been the country's largest volume manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles by 1900. The firm produced up to 50,000 carriages a year and Flint was widely known as "The Vehicle City." In the early 1900s an added third story with angled roof and dormers sharpened the headquarters' appearance. Marble floors and elaborate woodwork graced the carriage showrooms. Potted palms and rolltop desks on the office floors made it clear this was a prosperous place to do business. But that’s not the main reason the building is a historic treasure.