Construction begins at Michigan Central Station in Ford transformation

- Ford is beginning its renovation of the historic Michigan Central Station in Corktown this week. 

The first phase of the project begins with winterizing the massive, 105-year-old building which has been abandoned since 1988. We're told it needs to be dried out from extensive water damage and the structure also needs to be stabilized.

This first phase includes covering open windows and exterior holes on the roof. A series of pumps will be installed in the basement to prevent further flooding and fans will be placed to circulate air through the building. Drying out the space too quickly could cause damage to historic features. 

We're told drying out the building is a process that will take around 6 months. 

Come spring, then, the construction will become more visible on the outside. The second phase involves replacing mechanical and electrical systems and restoring exterior masonry, which can only be done in good weather. 

The final phase, then, will finish and restore the interior. 

And, good news if you love the space -- Ford plans to return the grand hall of the station to its original grandeur and attract local shops and restaurants in support of a vibrant, inclusive public space.

Ford says they're going to use 3D printing to create various molds and mockups that will help replicate the many historic elements of the building that have deteriorated over the years, or are missing. 

Ford acquired the iconic train station in Corktown in June, and plans to transform it and surrounding properties into a 1.2-million-square-foot innovation campus where Ford and its partners will work on autonomous and electric vehicle businesses, and design urban mobility services and solutions. The project will bring approximately 2,500 Ford employees to Corktown, most from the company's mobility team, and an additional 2,500 jobs with Ford's partners and suppliers.

FOX 2 reported on this story from Southfield, Mich.

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