On Saturday, October 26th, 2013 you will have your last chance to tour the Willow Run World War II Bomber plant for free in Ypsilanti Township. Most of the plant is set to be demolished. This is the plant where more than 40,000 workers from across America came together to build more than 8,600 B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft. The plant was designed by famed architect Albert Kahn. The plant and a village for the workers, rose from scratch on former farm fields in less than a year. Henry Ford built the factory in 1941 to produce the B24 bombers for the U.S. military.
This final event to tour the plant is part of the nearby Yankee Air Museum’s SaveTheBomberPlant.org campaign to preserve a 175,000-square-foot section of the 5 million-square-foot plant as its future home. You must register for the tour.
The NEW Yankee Air Museum is working to raise $5 Million to save a portion of the plant. If the museum meets its $5-million fund-raising target by Nov. 1, it will win the right to purchase a section of the plant for an undisclosed sum in a deal with RACER the trust overseeing remnants of General Motors’ bankruptcy (Revitalizing Automotive Communities Environmental Response trust).
This is also the very plant that gave us “Rosie the Riveter”. Barriers that stood for women and minority workers were broken down by wartime manufacturing plants like Willow Run that laid the groundwork for the civil rights and women’s movements of the following decades.