Ford River Rouge Plant Buildings
Coal, Iron Ore and Limestone Storage Bins
These 360-by-2,640-foot concrete storage facilities were completed in 1920 and are situated west of the blast furnaces and parallel to the east bank of the River Rouge Turning Basin Slip. The Rouge ore boats travel the upper Great Lakes from spring to fall and bring in 5 million tons of iron ore, coal, limestone, and other raw materials which are unloaded and deposited in these bins. The bins have a total capacity of 1.5 million tons, and during the winter months, when the lakes are unsuitable for shipping, they provide the Rouge with its raw material reserve.
Coke Ovens, Road By-Products Building (Building XX), Light Oil
Building, and Gas Holder
These structures are situated south of the Power House and collectively make up an extensive coking and by-products operation. The first coke ovens were installed here in 1919, and presently 205 ovens are in operation. One hundred ninety-two are the Koppers-Becker type and 13 are the Wiloptte type. Each oven has a 17.5-ton capacity, and together they are capable of processing 4,200 tons daily. In addition, the ovens produce a number of by-products, most of which are consumed in the Rouge. Working at full capacity, the ovens turn out 53 million cubic feet of gas, 42,000 gallons of tar, 45,000 pounds of diamonium phosphate, and 10,000 gallons of light oil daily. The nearby Road By-Products Building, Light Oil Building, and Coke Lab Building utilize these by-products. The Gas Holder, situated near the north bank of the Rouge River,x is 269 feet high, has a diameter of 128 feet, and has a storage capacity of 2.5 million cubic feet.
Rouge Office Building
This three-story steel and reinforced concrete structure faces Miller Road north of the Dearborn Iron Foundry near the eastern edge of the Rouge Complex and is of relatively recent vintage. The exterior concrete walls, of the two upper stories were poured at ground level, hoisted into place by hydraulic jacks, and then welded to the vertical steel members. The edifice is capped with a roof of concrete slab construction and contains 366,812 square feet of office space. Presently it houses the administrative operations of the Engine, Casting, Steel, and Metal Stamping Divisions, plus the Electronic Computer Service and the Rouge Mail Service.
Tire Plant (Dearborn Assembly Plant Stock Storage Warehouse)
Situated south of the Glass Plant and fronting on the west bank of the River Rouge Turning Basin Slip, this building was the scene of Henry Ford's effort to manufacture tires using raw rubber from his own plantation in Brazil. Designed by Albert Kahn and completed in 1938, the 242-by-802-foot structure was constructed of steel and capped with a flat roof containing skylights. Although as many as 5,000 tires were produced daily here at one time, Ford broke up the operation at the start of World War II and sold the equipment to the Soviet Union. Except for being enlarged somewhat, the building has apparently undergone little alteration. Presently, it is used as a storage warehouse for the Dearborn Assembly Plant.
Dearborn Engine Plant
Since 1942 this 1,000-by-1,640-foot structure, situated west of the north end of the steel mill operation, has been the center for engine production at the Rouge. Each day an 8-hour shift aided by 6 miles of conveyors and 1,420 machines assembles 1,150 engines and turns out 1,050 crankshafts, 1,150 camshafts, 8,000 pistons, and 1,150 cast-iron cylinder blocks.
Tool and Die Building
Situated south of the south end of the Dearborn Engine Plant, this two-story, 320-by-1,080-foot structure has played an important role at the Rouge since its completion in 1936. Designed by Albert Kahn, it has brick foundations, steel sash windows, is clad in metal, and is capped with a flat roof.
In Addition to the structures described above, the Rouge Complex contains numerous others, most of whose construction dates from after World War II. Among these are the 680-by-1,080-foot Frame Plant which consumes 550 tons of steel each working day; the 200-by-500-foot Slabber Mill equipped with two hydraulic stripper cranes, each with a 400-ton lifting capacity; twenty-four 100-ton capacity Soaking Pits; a 400-by-2,240-foot Hot Strip Mill capable of reducing a slab of steel 32 feet long and 6 to 8 inches thick to a 2,500-foot-long coiled strip in less than 2 minutes; a 360-by-960-foot Basic Oxygen Furnace Building; a 480-by-960-foot Specialty Foundry; a 12O-by-200-foot Oxygen Plant which each day produces 650 tons of gaseous oxygen, 30 tons of liquid oxygen, and 1 ton of liquid nitrogen for use in the steel mills; an 80-by-360-foot Ingot Mold Plant with a 30-ton pouring capacity; the Track Maintenance Building; the Dearborn Stamping Steel Warehouse; an Employment Building; the WW Building; the Steel Storage Building (EE Building); a Construction Services Building; the Railroad Car Control Building; the Marine Operations Building; a Skull Cracker; a Stripper Building; the Gas Booster Building; two sluice pits; the Mold Preparation Building; the Railroad Operations Office; the Quality Evaluation Building; the Slab Handling Building; the Transportation Services Building; an Oil Polishing Lagoon; and several water pumping stations which handle up to 10 million gallons of water per day.