DETROIT – The last train left Michigan Central Station 30 years ago and has since stood empty, a formidable embodiment of Detroit's long decline from America's manufacturing machine to the biggest urban bankruptcy.
The 105-year-old building that had once shut down all passenger rail traffic from Detroit in 1988 due to a deterioration in passenger shipping and took a new life in the ensuing years as an indispensable destination for city discoverers who took homeless and scavengers out of anything Prestigious Pecking
After years of failed, short-lived plans to rededicate 1
Few details about the company's interest have been made public. On Thursday, the Dearborn automaker started to relocate some 200 members of its electric and autonomous vehicle business teams to a renovated former plant a few blocks from the station. The movement allows the automaker to strengthen its development of self-propelled vehicles. It could use the station for a similar purpose as it is unlikely to be used for manufacturing.
"We expect to expand our presence in Detroit and will share more details in the future," said Ford spokeswoman Dawn Booker of the Associated Press
The billionaire Manuel "Matty" Moroun, who bought the building in the 1990s and also owns the nearby Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, did not respond to requests to discuss the future of the future station
Although Ford is deeply rooted in the Detroit region, some locals are taking a wait-and-see approach to interest the company at the property, which as a potential police headquarters or retail space and casino over the years. The city council wanted to have it demolished and forgotten.
"We've heard many stories, they come and go," said Stephen Bryant, general manager of the nearby Mercury Bar and Restaurant. "I will not think too much about it until I see a (Ford) sign go up."
Stephen McGee, who restored an old house near the train station, said that would send such a large reinvestment from Ford. an international signal to other companies "about the city."
"A company of this size would be the only way a building of this size would come back the right way," said McGee, 36, about Ford.
Michigan The Central Station It was completed in 1913 and was a bustling railroad hub for decades, but as people traveled more by car and plane, demand for rail services declined, with around 64,000 passengers handled in the three-story depot in 1986, up from 82,400 a year ago Years later, closed and avoided scavengers who deprived it of anything of value, including wiring and plumbing.
The building, with its massive pillars that emerged from an elaborate but faded entrance, aroused the interest of urban explorers, the curious and Squatters, and it became the most iconic symbol of Detroit's fall in size ker was injured in 2012 after falling 30-40 feet through the floor and into the basement, and finally a barbed-wire fence was erected to keep people out.
A few years ago, Moroun installed new windows and worklights and an invitation – In September, a reunion took place in the depot at an annual event that brought investment to Detroit.
"It's a beautiful setting – at night – now that they have lights – it's not so dark and bleak," said Bryant.
A refurbished and open Michigan Central would anchor Corktown, which has trendy bars and restaurants, and one of the neighborhoods in and around downtown Detroit that is booming.
Bryant said the stores had been good at Mercury, but hundreds of Ford employees would be suitable for other local businesses.
Several other cities in the region have found new uses for their stations in recent years.
The state of New York promised $ 5 million to make Buffalo's Central Terminal Hall functional for municipal and private use. Conservators entered to rescue the station after it closed in 1979.
Cincinnati's 85-year-old Union Terminal is being renovated and is home to the Cincinnati Museum Center. A voter-approved sales tax helps to finance the work. Fort Wayne, Indiana, Baker Street Station closed in 1990. A local architect later bought and worked to renovate the building. It is now a banquet facility.
"If you can take something that is the symbol for something negative and turn it into something positive, it's a big deal," said Michael Stern, a city and landscape design consultant in Jackson, Wyoming. "It's that, like," that's the challenge. "
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