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Michigan Central Station Reopens Amid Star-Studded Gala

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Michigan Central Station at night.
Stephen McGee

DETROIT –– Michigan Central Station in Detroit officially reopened last week with a concert featuring performers from the entertainment industry and a review of iconic members of the Detroit community.

The Ford Motor Company issued press releases about the station’s history and reopening, and the opening gala. Performers at the gala included Eminem, Diana Ross, Big Sean, and Jack White.

Another press release provided the following detail:

Following an extensive six-year renovation by Ford Motor Company, Michigan Central Station will offer the public a first look at the interior restoration of its historic ground floor this week. The Station officially welcomes the community back to share in its historic reopening during Michigan Central OPEN from June 6-16.

Ford embarked on the preservation project after acquiring the abandoned train station in 2018 to be the centerpiece of Michigan Central, a 30-acre technology and cultural hub in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. Michigan Central will bring Ford employees together with external partners, entrepreneurs, students, and even competitors, to co-create new products, services, and technologies that add value to a new generation of Ford customers and help build a better world. While Ford’s investment is crucial to the company’s long-term planning, it also represents a commitment to the city of Detroit and its future, with The Station becoming a beacon of development and opportunity.

“Michigan Central means a great deal to us all. In many ways, this building tells the story of our city,” said Bill Ford, executive chair of Ford. “This Station was our Ellis Island – a place where dreamers in search of new jobs and new opportunities first set foot in Detroit. But once the last train pulled out, it became a place where hope left. In 2018, I decided it was time to change that by reimagining this station as a place of possibility again. Over the past six years, Ford Motor Company and teams of forward thinkers, designers, community leaders, and more than 3,000 skilled tradespeople have worked to bring this landmark back to life.”

The release went on to say that Originally designed by architects Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem, the same team behind New York’s famed Grand Central, Michigan Central Station first opened its doors in 1913 as one of the country’s most spectacular transportation terminals. It saw 4,000 daily passengers at its peak, but, following decades of declining rail travel, was shuttered in 1988 and sat vacant for three decades, experiencing severe neglect, weathering, decay and vandalism.

Michigan Central is a 30-acre technology and cultural hub in Detroit, where leaders, thinkers, communities, and creators come together to accelerate bold ideas and technologies that shape our collective future. By providing access to world-class infrastructure, tools, and resources, Michigan Central inspires innovators and community members to collaborate on real, ground-breaking solutions to global problems. Since opening in April 2023, Michigan Central has grown into a diverse ecosystem of more than 600 employees from nearly 100 companies and startups working at the intersection of mobility and society. Learn more at michigancentral.com.

Michigan Central Station exterior lights/Photo by Helmut Ziewers

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