From 1936 to 1962, the gear-shaped Ford Rotunda attracted visitors from around the world. It was the fifth most popular tourist destination in the United States in the 1950s.
The building had its roots in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, known as the Century of Progress Exposition, which opened in May of 1933 and attracted more than 40 million visitors over its two-year run. One of the major attractions at the fair was Ford Motor Company’s Rotunda, which was disassembled after the fair and brought back to Dearborn, where it was reconstructed using more permanent materials. Designed to be the showcase of the auto industry, the Ford Rotunda was opened to the public on May 14, 1936.
In 1960, the Rotunda ranked behind only Niagara Falls, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Smithsonian Institution and the Lincoln Memorial as a national tourist destination. It was more popular than Yellowstone, Mount Vernon, the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty.
On November 9, 1962, it burned, putting an end to tourists visiting.
Source : The Ford Rotunda, Michigan In Pictures, December 12, 2009.