Continental Aluminum

Image Number: 00132
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View through Doorway from a Dark Room at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00133
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Continental Aluminum Foundry from Gray Street
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00134
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Collapsed Wall in Foundry at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00135
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Colorful Graffiti and Collapsed Wall in Foundry at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00136
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Sunlit Doorway with pile of Coal at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00137
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Shattered Glass Window at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00138
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Disconnected Pipes at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00139
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View Upwards through an Air Filtration Shaft at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00140
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Icicles in Stairwell at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00141
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Graffiti at end of Hallway at Continental Aluminum
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--Detroit, Michigan

Location Name:  Continental Aluminum Company (Detroit, Michigan)

Location Type:  Abandoned Site (Factory)

Year Completed:  1911

Architect(s):  ?

History:  

The old Continental Aluminum Company plant in Detroit was originally part of Continental Motors Company which operated at the site for several decades before Continental Aluminum moved in. What stands today of the original Continental Motors is the old Dyno Cell Plant and Foundry, built in 1911. In those days the plant was much larger but now most has been demolished. Continental Motors was a major supplier of engines to many Detroit automobile manufacturers. The Continental Aircraft and Engine Company formed in 1929 and the company expanded its role in engine production to include aircraft as well as automobiles. Continental even briefly ventured into the production of automobiles under their name in 1932-1933 but they were unsuccessful. After over half a century at this location, the Detroit plant closed in 1965 and Continental was acquired by Teledyne, Inc. in 1969.

After much of Continental Motors was demolished, Continental Aluminum Company bought the remaining structures and moved onto the site in the late 1980s. Continental Aluminum (no real connection to Continental Motors other than using the same location) was an aluminum processing plant. Continental recycled scrap aluminum for new uses, mostly for the automobile industry. After a decade or so of operations, Continental moved from its Detroit location in 1996 to the western Detroit suburb of Lyon Township in Oakland County. The property has remained vacant ever since.

Continental Aluminum has been accused of allowing dangerous pollutants to escape from its smokestack. Nearby residents complained about unfiltered emissions that would have allowed harmful toxins to contaminate the air in the residential community around the plant. The melting of aluminum creates toxic vapors, mostly due to the various oils and coatings that may be on the metal during the melting process. The state continues to investigate the complaints (as they have not eluded accusations by those in their new community) due to the considerable health hazards posed by the vapors. What can be known for certain is that the remains of the old Continental Aluminum plant pose dangerous health risks to any visitors due to the hazardous contaminants involved in the aluminum melting process.

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