DETROIT – Michigan Central Station in Corktown is a shadow of its former self because scrappers picked the building clean long ago.
But a surprise gesture will help restore part of the train station to its former glory, as the thief who took an old clock to preserve it for this day returned it to the owner's hands.
Ford Motor Company said the clock has been gone for a very long time after helping passengers who needed to know the time. Bill Ford said he couldn't believe it when a secret approach was made to get the clock back.
"Somebody must have really loved it and loved the train station because they took very good care of it and we got this notice," Ford said. "It first went to The Henry Ford Museum and they got ahold of us and said some guy wants to return a big package to you."
Ford sent a truck to the location and, sure enough, workers found the clock. It wasn't small, and Ford couldn't be certain it was the right clock.
"Go to a field in Detroit and you'll find it there and take a big truck there, and go we did," Ford said. "We sent our guys there and very carefully wrapped was the clock."
Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the fascinating tale says a lot about what Michigan Central Station means to the residents of Metro Detroit.
"I want to be part of the momentum of the restoration, so that's what it is," Hackett said. "People see the momentum and they want to be part of it, and I thought it was a magical statement of the city's attraction."
One of the residents is rapper Big Sean, who thinks there's a song in Tuesday's announcement about plans for the building.