Classics

GM opens restored Flint factory that's considered birthplace

General Motors has restored an old factory in Flint that's considered to be the company's birthplace.

The Durant-Dort Factory One, which reopened Monday, includes event space and an archive with about 100,000 historical documents, photos and other artifacts about carriage building and early automobile manufacturing. The public can visit by appointment.

The archive was relocated from nearby Kettering University.

Parts of the factory date to 1880. William Crapo "Billy" Durant and business partner Josiah Dallas Dort established the Flint Road Cart Co. in 1886 to build horse-drawn carriages.

Durant later took control of Buick, built GM and formed Chevrolet. GM executive Mark Reuss says the restoration preserves the stories of early visionaries who built a new industry in Flint.

GM in 2013 bought the building, which was in disrepair.