Ford was producing so many cars in the ’teens and that it built satellite assembly plants in cities so Detroit could efficiently ship “knocked down” chassis, and final assembly could be done near the point of sale. Pittsburgh’s plant has long sat decaying on its automobile row, Baum Boulevard, the Lincoln Highway through the east end of town. Now the final tenant is moving out but plans call for a revamping into medical offices.
The Pittsburgh plant at 5000 Baum Blvd (at Morewood) in Bloomfield was one of two dozen that Ford opened in the spring of 1915. Though only 40 cars were produced per day, it served the needs of the region through 1932. The ghost of the Ford Motor Company script can still be seen along the roofline.
The Post-Gazette reports that the last tenant — the flagship Paper Mart store — closed after 25 years there:
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center bought the building about two years ago and began clearing tenants out as their leases ended. Papermart was the last tenant when its lease expired in January. UPMC extended the lease on a month-by-month basis, but the cost had gone up….
Frank Raczkiewicz, a spokesman for UPMC, said the building will be “another cancer research facility” and that the medical giant, which is based in Oakland with headquarters Downtown, has already outgrown the Hillman Cancer Center.
Drawing: Ford Motor Company