12/02/2012 12:07 pm ET

The Packard Plant: Big. Ugly. Dangerous.

Like a crumbling headstone to a long-dead time, it sprawls over 35 acres of Detroit, a half-mile stretch of broken concrete and bricks and trouble.

City firefighters won't venture inside it when it catches fire. Scrappers have pretty much picked it clean. Urban spelunkers still explore it, and graffiti artists see it as a massive canvas. But lately, some of these visitors have been beaten and robbed by predators lurking in the dark among the rubble.

The Packard Plant, or what's left of it, stands along East Grand Boulevard -- a clear and present danger, an obstacle to redeveloping the near east side, a forlorn landmark for camera crews from around the world.

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