Guardian Industries Corp. recently completed a long-term donation of glass to help the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant restore its windows.

The last shipment of glass from Guardian’s Carleton, Mich. float glass plant will help workers finish more than 350 windows in the three-story National Historic Landmark, all of which needed critical repair and restoration. The relationship between Guardian and the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant began in 2011 after a Guardian employee attended an event at the site and saw an opportunity to help.

“We are excited to do our part to help restore this historic Detroit landmark,” says Guardian President and CEO Ron Vaupel. “Guardian has a proud history of manufacturing in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and welcomed the opportunity to continue our connection to the industry and our community.”

The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is the first building built and owned by Ford Motor Company. Eight different models were produced between 1904 and 1910, culminating with the world-changing Model T. The first 12,000 Model Ts were built at the Piquette Plant between 1908-1909. The semi-abandoned building was purchased by the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of the Piquette Plant. The birthplace of the Model T is now a National Historic Landmark and has become one of Detroit’s major tourist attractions and an international destination, attracting thousands of visitors annually.

A volunteer work crew, appropriately named The Window Team, is rebuilding each window by hand, using Guardian glass, in its own factory on the second floor of the  Piquette Plant. Because of the careful craftsmanship required for the replacement windows, Guardian arranged to make a series of glass deliveries as needed.

Guardian’s relationship with automobiles started in 1932 on Campbell Avenue in Detroit, when Guardian’s first products were windshields. Today, Guardian supports the automotive and transportation industries with float glass and specialty glass, RV and transportation glass products produced by Custom Glass Solutions, and automotive trim products produced by SRG Global. The partnership with the Piquette Plant was a perfect fit, and The Window Team agrees.

“We are very fortunate to be able to work with the glass donated by Guardian,” says Art Pope, Chair of The Window Team. “They have gone above and beyond anything expected.”

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