Officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and Michigan Historic Preservation Office were on hand to witness the unveiling of a new 5-foot tall, 1,200lb white granite marker at the General Motors Warren, MI Technical Center. The moment comes nearly sixty years after the famous facility located 20 minutes northeast of downtown Detroit first opened its doors, and officially designates the entire engineering campus as a National Historic Landmark.
When the Technical Center first opened in 1956, it was the pinnacle of automotive engineering, design and advanced technology. It’s also home to the GM Design Dome, a spherical building that looked positively space age when it was first unveiled during the Cold War days. And it is still striking today.
Designed by modernist architect Eero Saarinen, the Tech Center immediately thrusted Saarinen into the public eye as an architect, planner, and designer worthy of penciling total environments. Its campus with ponds and greenery an inspiration to what Silicon Valley business use today.
While Saarinen designed other notable projects both before and after his work with GM, like the Tulip chair or the TWA Flight Center terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the National Park Service selected the GM Tech Center for the honor because it possesses national significance as one of Saarinen’s most important works.
As Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply, pointed out at the dedication, the company also plans to reinvest in the famous GM campus.
“We recently announced a $1-billion investment that will bring new construction, significant renovation and 2,600 new jobs to the campus,” he said.
And of course, the expansion of the Tech Center will continue in the original style first penned by Saarinen all those years ago.