2018 : Detroit Central Station Purchased by Ford Motor Co.

June 11, 2024 all-day

June 11, 2018.

Detroit’s long-vacant Michigan Central Station, a towering ruin that came to symbolize the city’s dramatic fall, has been sold to Ford Motor Co.  The Ford sale also included a nearby former Detroit schools book depository that the family owns.

The automaker is expected to renovate the train depot and make it the hub of a campus for advanced automotive technology in the Corktown neighborhood.

The Beaux Arts-style train station, designed by the same architectural firms as Grand Central Terminal in New York, opened in 1913 as the tallest train station in the world.

It served as Detroit’s main train depot until it was closed by Amtrak in 1988.

The Moroun enterprise started obtaining parts of the station property in the early 1990s, and has owned it all since 1995.

The building fell into deep disrepair in the early 2000s and was the target of vandals and trespassers. It also became a recurring feature in photography books as a symbol of sorts for Detroit’s fall.

In recent years, under pressure from the city, the Moroun enterprise installed more than 1,000 windows to the station’s tower, restored a working elevator and cleaned up the interior.

Ford will reveal plans for the train station and Corktown on June 19 in a community celebration.

For the full article, see JC Reindl and John Gallagher,”It’s official: Morouns sell Detroit train station to Ford“, Detroit Free Press, June 11, 2018.

Robin Runyan, “Tour the grandeur of Michigan Central Station in 17 historic photos“, Curbed Detroit, September 20, 2017.

For more information, see Michigan Central Depot

Michigan Central Depot Through the Years, courtesy of the Detroit News.

LISTEN: Historic Detroit’s Dan Austin Talks About Michigan Central Station, courtesy of Daily Detroit, June 12, 2018.

Dan Austin and JC Reindl, “Once crown jewel, Detroit train station now symbol of ruin“, Detroit Free Press, June 11, 2018.

Anthony Bolton, “New Life for an Old Jewel?“, Seeking Michigan, June 7, 2018.

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