To quote Rich Bardelli, train project coordinator, “When we came in, it had been in 30 years of decay,” “When we got here, there was literally nothing left.”
Originally opened in 1913 to replace the burned passenger depot in 1913. It was owned by Michigan Central Railroad. The station stayed in operation till the 60’s when it started to see a steep decline. Some service continued in the ’70s and ’80s with Amtrak, but nothing came near the former traffic of the 1940s. Eventually, becoming completely abandoned and slowly became an icon for urban decay.
And now, after nearly 4 years of work, the Michigan Central Station will be completed in late 2022 or early 2023. When Ford bought the location in 2018, there was very little to work with inside. Scrappers had stripped the building over the years. More than 500 workers a day have diligently added ductwork, piping and wiring and cables. Even modern 3d printing has been used to restore pieces that were beyond repair or too costly to bring back without technology.
Ford plans to keep the first floor open to the public and allow tenants to take up the spaces available. A community space with an eatery and possible shops. The rest of the building will be used for Ford’s autonomous vehicle teams. More than 2500 workers will be working on the future of autonomous vehicles in this structure.
Now after so many years of the station being used as a photographic sample of ruin and decay will be restored to its original beauty and house a team working on the future of automobiles.
Some info via Fox
Here’s a video featuring some of the highlights and a historical video of the station.