The Fisher Body Company Plant No. 21, located in Detroit, Michigan, produced automobile bodies for General Motors (GM).
The Albert Kahn-designed facility was constructed in 1919 to provide wooden automobile bodies for a variety of companies, later manufacturing exclusively for GM.
As early as 1930, GM downgraded the status of Fisher Body’s Plant 21 as being inefficient. GM began moving body manufacturing from Plant 21 to other, more efficient locations. However, the limousine body assembly was moved to Plant 21 from GM’s Fleetwood plant in 1955 because its output was only about 1,000 cars annually.
On November 29, 1982, GM announced that Fisher Body’s Plant 21, 40, and 41, all part of Fisher Body’s Detroit Central complex, would close. Production would relocate to “Buick City” in Flint, leaving 900 hourly and 300 salaried employees furloughed. The last day of production for Plant 21 was on April 1, 1984.
The Carter Color Coat Company purchased the shuttered Plant 21 in 1990, and the building was reused for industrial painting. In June 1992, Carter Color Coat declared bankruptcy, and the plant was abandoned. Ownership reverted to the city of Detroit in 2000.
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After graduating High School in 1955 I went to work at a Fisher Body Plant in Willow Springs Illinois. The plant was relatively new having been built in 1953. It was a good job for a kid just out of high school and my starting wage was $1.95/ hr which included a shift differential for working 2nd shift. I was married during my first year there and we just celebrated our 60th Anniversary. We had two children while I worked there and they are now very successful in life. Blue Cross/Blue Shield paid their total hospital/Doctor cost.. I never liked working there even though i was promoted into entry level management in 1962.
I left there in July of 1964 and relocated to Arizona. I heard they shut the facility down in 1988 so it had a 35 year life. I still remember most of my coworkers names and I’m sure most, if not all, are deceased now. I started working there at age 18 and I’m now 79 and still enjoy near perfect health. I have my own business which I work at 7 days per week. Life is good !!
Ken, my name is Tim Lynch from Scottsboro, Al. I was looking up info on Fischer Body in Chicago and saw your comment. My dad, Johnny Lynch, worked there back in the 1950’s. My parents went to Chicago for work two separate times. The first time was around 1952 and my dad worked at the Ford Plant and when he got laid off, he went to work at the Sherwin Williams Paint Company. He didn’t make enough money there so he picked up a 2nd job at Arcadia Feed Mill. Ford called him back but he missed the South and moved back to Scottsboro, Alabama. Around 1954 or 1955 a friend of his came by his Alabama home and told him he could get a job at Fischer Body in Chicago so he headed north with his friend and sent for his family a few weeks later. My dad said sometime later Fischer Body went on strike so he went to work at Libby’s Canning Company at Blue Island for 3 weeks until the strike was over. I was born in Chicago at Roseland Community hospital in 1958. Around 1960 my parents decided to move back to Scottsboro, Al and we never went back to Chicago. My dad passed away 5 years ago at nearly 89 years of age and my mom 1 1/2 years ago at 91 years of age. I am working on some family history for our kids and grandkids. I was looking for info on Fischer Body for my story. Do you have any info or pictures of the plant in Willow Springs, Il you could send me. I would appreciate it.
Hi Tim, My dad also retired from Fisher in Willow Springs,in 1979.He also worked at Arcadia, prior to going to Fisher Body.Small world,huh? He and my mom were from Scottsboro, as I am.Yes,I worked at Fisher also, which is where I met my wife!Yes, we are back in alabama also!!I sure do miss them good ol` Fisher jobs!!
And yes, I do have a few pics of my dad and some of the guys, in the pressroom!
Hey James, it is a small world, good to hear from you. Can you send me those pictures by e-mail? It is firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I`ll see what I have.I also have a book they gave us ,near the end.If I get out your way some day, maybe we can meet up at Western Sizzlin, my favorite place in the world.
Sounds good, maybe we can work that out after this pandemic is over with.
did you know a man by the name of Joe Draugelis?
Did he have rather dark eyebrows??
Hello James, hope all is well. If you get a chance to send me any pictures you have of the plant press room at Fischer Body, I would appreciate it. My e mail is email@example.com