Here’s an excellent film history of one of the Ford Motor Company’s most famous buildings, and probably its most beloved: The Ford Rotunda in Dearborn.
For 26 years—from 1936 to 1962—the Ford Rotunda had an enormous impact on the Ford Motor Company and on the people of Dearborn, Michigan, the automaker’s home town. Originally built as the Ford display pavilion at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair, the sleek Albert Kahn-designed building was then disassembled, transported to Dearborn, and rebuilt directly across the street from Ford headquarters, where it became America’s fifth-largest tourist destination.
Current and future Ford products were displayed in the modernist 12-story structure, and the facility also became a social hub for the city, especially at Christmas time. Dearborn residents still fondly recall the elaborate holiday displays and their first visits with Santa at the Rotunda. Tragically, the building was totally destroyed by fire November 9, 1962, but it lives on to this day in the hearts of Dearborn residents and Ford enthusiasts at large.
Narrated by Helen K. Mamalakis of the Dearborn Historical Society, this excellent video does a far better job than we can in telling the Rotunda story. Please enjoy.