See the progress Ford has made inside the historic Michigan Central Station

Renovation project moving according to schedule, company says

Local 4 has a look inside Michigan Central Station as Ford prepares the building for workers to move in.

DETROIT – Local 4 is taking a look inside Detroit’s Michigan Central Station as Ford Motor Company prepares the building for workers to move in.

The automotive company said it is on track to have offices up and running by the end of this year, but there’s plenty left to be done.

Related: Workers find 108-year-old letter in a bottle while renovating Michigan Central Station

Ford started the renovation project at the historic site three years ago.

Scrappers had stolen anything they could reach, and the open roof allowed weather to affect the inside of the building. Yet, despite everything, the historic train station survived and Ford’s construction team is finding ways to recreate the building as best it can.

The inside of Michigan Central Station Station in 2017. (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

The old station is the true face of Detroit, and emblematic of Motown’s rise in wealth and influence, its fall from grace and now its reconstruction. The project is expected to cost $1 billion.

Site construction manager Rick Bardelli said crews found some unwelcome surprises when they first got inside.

“We took over 2.5 million gallons of water out of the building. As we started taking the water out of the building, there was a basement nobody knew about -- sixty-thousand square feet of basement -- which was a huge surprise to us,” Bardelli said.

Crews filled in the basement with concrete.

The work on the building came in phases. Crews are working to close off the building so it could be protected from the weather, and that’s expected to be completed next month. Workers have already stabilized the building, and now they’re working to restore it.

Ford says it’s on schedule to complete the project on time. The Book Depository building, next to the train station, will start hosting Ford employees by this summer.

In early 2023, the company plans to have the main central depot open for employees, too.

Read: Complete Michigan Central Station coverage

Inside Michigan Central Station in July 2017 (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.