The Section 106 review of the PPG succeeded in scaring off the US Postal Service.  It went elsewhere with its distribution center.  But the PPG was far from safe.  Ford Land was still intent on selling the PPG acreage for future development.

black and white image of the entrance gate at the Packard Proving Grounds Historic Site in 1998But now there were more eyes on the PPG.  More and more people were getting wind of the importance of this historic site.

The Shelby Township Historical Committee, along with the two men, Dan and Bob, who lived across the street from the PPG, worked with me to get even more eyes on the site.  We went to the local newspapers and got reporters on board with writing about the importance of the PPG.  Their articles emphasized the benefits to the community of saving the site from demolition and development.  Their reporting kept the PPG in the news and on peoples’ minds.

We went to the township government officials to see if they could acquire the property in order to make it a local historic attraction.  This was a tall order considering the size of the site (over 500 acres) and what it would cost to buy it all and restore the buildings.  The township officials were pleased that historic preservation efforts had upended the plans for the postal distribution center, which they didn’t want due to the increase in truck traffic it would have brought to the area.  But they could not commit to taking on an enormous preservation project involving a 500-acre site and several dilapidated buildings.

We were disappointed to say the least, but not ready to give up by any means.

To be continued.