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wolverine

Industry's last breath

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General Motor's Malleable Iron Foundry is a 350,000 square foot plant located in Saginaw, Michigan. The plant opened in 1917 and has been in continuous operation since. However as General Motors moves into producing vehicles with higher fuel efficiency, it no longer made sense to produce components out of heavy iron when they could be made with aluminum. This May was the last month the plant would be in production. It has been known for quite some time that this plant would close. Meanwhile, down the street is a much larger plant that is making components out of aluminum. General Motors announced it will invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the expansion and upgrades of that plant. So there will very little impact on Saginaw's economy due to Malleable's closure.

Malleable Iron has supported thousands of families for almost a century including mine I've been inside more times than I can remember throughout my life. When I heard it was closing its doors this week, I knew I had to get some pictures. Saturday (May 19th), I grabbed my camera and headed on over to the plant to shoot some interior photos. It was a completely different place without people. The dark areas you will see in these photos were typically lit brilliant orange by the molten iron. What was still there was the smell of heated iron (which smells just like greasy hamburgers). I always loved that smell, glad I got one last whiff of it before the gates are locked. This thread is a tribute to that plant which has supported so many families over the years.

Enjoy!

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NOTE: All of the above images are copyrighted. Reposting any of these images on another website or forum without permission is stricly prohibited.

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Amazing.

I've run across some abandonments on active sites (steel mills) where I've worked, and some abandoned-but-could-be-active properties, but this is just awesome. This must be a sad blow to Michigan :(

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Amazing.

I've run across some abandonments on active sites (steel mills) where I've worked, and some abandoned-but-could-be-active properties, but this is just awesome. This must be a sad blow to Michigan :(

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Very cool thread. Really liked the background info as well.

It was great to hear that even as the this old industrial operation fades off into the sunset that the workforce has the option to move on into a new modern industrial operation that can provide good wages and long-term employment.

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I love these kind of tours.

The same thing is happening in Lansing. Two auto plants are currently under demolition, but two new ones have been built to replace these ones, with less workers, of course, but they didn't leave us completely high-and-dry.

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