By Andrew Ganz
Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:15 pm
 
None of Detroit's many abandoned buildings represents the rise and the decline of the Motor City as well as the Packard plant, but what looks like an empty structure actually has a single resident: Allan Hill. His life as the sprawling, crumbling icon of mass production was recently chronicled in a beautifully put together video. Even though he is surrounded, quite literally, by blight, Hill remains optimistic that Detroit will "rise from the ashes" to become an economic powerhouse once again.



The video shown above was recently put together by Lost & Found Films as part of their "This is the Place" series. It's unclear from the video just how Hill sustains his life in the plant aside from some welding side jobs, but he isn't a squatter. The building's owner asked Hill to take up residence to help secure the facility as best as possible. Clearly, living in the world's largest abandoned industrial building isn't an easy task, as Hill has to contend with vandals - not to mention a lack of hot water.

Still, he has power and Internet access, with which he maintains a webcam. A small portion of the Packard plant was last occupied by a sole industrial tenant up until a few years ago, although that firm still lists the facility as its primary address. It's unclear from the video if Hill lives in that recently-used section, but what is known is that he moved in about six years ago and his time in the facility has been well-documented in print.

Packard's demise spelled the end of the road for the plant in the mid-1950s, but the Albert Kahn-penned structure was once the showpiece of Detroit's industrial and automotive might.

Sprawling across about 3.5 million square feet, the plant produced some of the world's finest vehicles during the interwar years. Leftlane recently named the Packard facility to our list of the 10 most fascinating automotive plants.