Ford Motor Company announced its acquisition of the Michigan Central Station in June of 2018, and since that time, there has been much discussion about the plans for the building. While some speculated about the future of the location, it was later confirmed that the plan was to transform the iconic Detroit landmark into the Centerpiece of the automakers Corktown Campus.
MICHIGAN CENTRAL STATION THEN AND NOW
Eighteen months after the acquisition, the entryway, and the main floor look similar to what was seen at the public unveiling, but now, barricades and equipment populate the once vacant halls. Rich Bardelli, Ford’s construction manager, led a group of media professionals through the structure, to show off the progress and explain some of the ideas that they are bringing into reality.
Over the past months, the residents of Corktown have been able to share their input during quarterly community meetings with Ford Motor Company. Having the opportunity to vote on possible design components as well as getting first-hand intel on what is to come for the iconic building and its Beaux-Arts interior.
While much of the building is still in an incomplete state, construction teams are working diligently to repurpose the building, leaving as much of the original facade intact as possible. One room highlighted during the brief tour was the site of the former restaurant, The Mercury, a room riddled with graffiti that includes art from the early days of Detroit-based artist, FEL3000FT.
The plan for the room includes leaving not just the original architecture intact, but also much of the artwork on the walls, blending the old with the new, to create a room that embodies the soul of modern Detroit.
Sharing the plans for the space, Bardelli stated, “One of the other cool things is the graffiti, there’s some really cool stuff that we’re going to look into trying to keep, and really tell the story not only of its total restoration but the graffiti is a big part of the building, it’s a big part of Detroit, and how things have evolved. Artists learned their crafts in this building, so we’re going to have an area of the building to really talk about the history and its growth and decay.”
12 FLOORS UP
A lift up in the service elevator took the media team to the 12th floor, in which the views of the city are uncomparable. With almost a 360 turn, the building is the catalyst for viewing Detroit from above, seeing Motor City Casino, the Ambassador Bridge, and the straight shot up Michigan Avenue through Corktown to Downtown.
With the thorough tour, catching the transformation in progress, and hearing some great info on where the design of Michigan Central Station is going, we at Detroitisit wanted to let you in as a sneak peek! Be sure to watch the video at the top of the story, and share it with your friends!