Flint Buildings and Their Story – Erin’s Top Five
The city of Flint has been around for a very long time and has many historical sites and buildings in the area and surrounding areas. Several buildings have stories and facts that go along with it that maybe you aren't aware of. I've decided to share my top five buildings that I find very interesting. Feel free to share some of yours as well after you read mine.
The Durant, located on Second Avenue in downtown Flint, was once known as The Durant Hotel and was built in 1920. It served as a hotel for over 50 years to several dignitaries, celebrities and business leaders. It was named in honor of the founder of General Motors, William C. Durant, after he stepped down as president of the company for the last time. The Durant was recently redeveloped and now has 93 lofts with several U of M Flint and Mott Community College students living there.
Genesee Towers is the tallest high-rise in Flint and Genesee County since it's completion in 1968. In 2001 a pipe burst causing flooding and leaving the building completely vacant. The building was condemned by the city in 2004 after citing it for numerous building code violations. The city now owns it and they're still trying to figure out what to do with it. It actually looked really cool last week during the downtown Flint Art Walk, with the lights lit up in addition to music and performances going on throughout the evening inside the towers.
The Flint Cultural Center was built with revenue from the auto industry in the 1950's. The goal was to provide cultural and artistic experiences for the residents and sets on a 30 acre site near downtown. You can't miss the center with all of the flags leading you to the area. It's home to the Flint Public Library, Sloan Museum, Longway Planetarium, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Institute of Music and Whiting Auditorium.
Of course I had to mention one of the GM buildings, so I've picked GM Powertrain, which is an automobile engine and components plant. You probably know this and you probably know it's located at the Stewart Avenue exit of 475. It consists of several factories that combine to make the Flint North Powertrain Plant. It opened in 1905 as part of the Buick Motor Company and is the last part of Buick City still standing. I didn't know this, but it's famous for building the GM 3800 engine, one of the longest produced automobile engines in history.
I decided to choose the Lapeer County Courthouse as my last building because of its history. It was built by Alvin Hart, who is one of the first settlers in Lapeer. Hart came to Michigan in 1831 and mapped out Lapeer two years later. He was also the sheriff and served on both houses of the state legislature. The Lapeer County Courthouse is now the oldest courthouse in Michigan.