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Friday Photo: Nightfall at General Motors

chevys at night.jpg
(Photo: Westchester County Historical Society)

The holidays make us all nostalgic (or maybe that’s just the pie talking), and so today’s Friday Photo is this spooky nighttime shot of the lot at the once bustling General Motors plant in North Tarrytown, New York, now known as Sleepy Hollow. Taken in 1953 by an unknown photographer, the image shows sparkling new Chevrolets as far as the eye can see. The plant began its life around 1900 as the site of a Stanford White-designed factory that produced Walker steam cars for Mobile before changing hands and ultimately becoming a Chevrolet factory in 1914. According to the Westchester County Historical Society, from 1918 (when Chevrolet merged with GM) until its closing in 1996, this facility was the largest GM assembly plant east of the Mississippi. If you’re in the mood for a grisly dénouement on this Black Friday, check out Thomas Rinaldi‘s photos of the demolished GM site and other Hudson Valley ruins, the subject (and title) of his 2006 book, written with Robert J. Yasinsac.

UPDATE: In a development that would surely interest Dr. Freud, we’ve just learned that design god and Pentagram partner Michael Bierut is in fact a native of Sleepy Hollow, nee North Tarrytown, former home of the GM plant that was once owned by the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company (which acquired the facility from Mobile in 1904). “My house was supposedly built for Benjamin Briscoe back in 1908,” Bierut tells us. “Oddly enough, it has an incredibly small one-car garage.”

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