Because this is a story of serendipity and luck, I ask the reader to excuse me when I start many of my sentences with “as luck would have it…”
As luck would have it, the place where I worked in Southfield was close to Lawrence Technological University (LTU). I had shared my story of the mystery site with a few of my co-workers and one of them told me that LTU had an Albert Kahn archive in the library. During many lunch hours, I explored the LTU library archives. I happened upon a book that listed all Kahn’s work, or what he termed “jobs.” I found a number of jobs undertaken in Utica, Michigan for the Packard Motor Car Company beginning in 1927. On the list were job numbers and some descriptions including a lodge, garages, a bridge, and a repair shop.
On a whim, I called the Albert Kahn Associates office in Detroit where I was connected with their archivist. This very helpful person, whose name escapes me, went through the Utica project job numbers, and pulled all the plans. He described the buildings to me, but when he got to the description of the lodge, I knew I had my mystery building. In an act of extreme generosity, the archivist mailed me a copy of the architectural drawings for the Packard Proving Grounds Gate Lodge free of charge. I was off and running.
To be continued.