Prudden / Motor Wheel Factory, 707 Prudden Street

The Prudden Wheel Company was the precursor of the long dominant wheel manufacturer Motor Wheel, and established itself in the wheel industry supplying 60% of all the automobiles manufactured in the U.S. at that time with their wheels. The Prudden Wheel Factory is a classic example of early Modern American factory architecture. Its clean, simple lines, ultra-minimalism and cube-like modularity harkens to the International Style spawned by the Bauhaus movement or ‘the building as machine’ philosophy, which wasn’t widely recognized until the 1920s. The Prudden factory has retained its most basic architectural characteristics, while other iron and wood post buildings to the North did not survive. The automobile industry has been a significant part of Michigan’s and Lansing’s history, and the preservation of the Prudden Wheel building at 707 Prudden Street represents an early example of that proud heritage.