New Life for Historic Globe Building
The State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is moving forward as the anchor tenant in the historic Globe Building. Located along Atwater near the Dequindre Cut and the Detroit riverfront, the DNR plans to build an adventure and discovery center within the manufacturing facility originally constructed in 1892 and known to be where Henry Ford apprenticed. Envisioned by the planners are a rock-climbing wall with zip lines, an interpretive forest, archery range and classroom space. Construction is set to begin in fall 2012.
The industrial complex began life in the late 1860s as the Dry Dock Engine Works, which employed a young Henry Ford as an apprentice. It was here that Henry Ford apparently first became familiar with combustion engines. At the turn of the 20th century, the company was absorbed by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co., according to records compiled by the National Park Service. When the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. dissolved in the late 1920s, the former engine building plant - now part of the state park's plans - was used by a stove manufacturer, the Detroit Edison Co., for appliance repair and finally the Globe Trading Company - a wholesale machinery firm.