Ford begins second phase of Michigan Central Station rehab project

It was once a symbol of urban blight, but now the Michigan Central Station is slowly transforming into a beacon of the city's revitalization as the Ford Motor Company starts phase two of this massive rehab project.     

"If you look around almost every facet of the building has to get done," said Rich Bardelli, project manager.

Even though crews began working last fall, they are still in the very early stages of construction.

"Drying out the building, getting temporary roofs on, and doing some testing and probing of the structure," he said.

Ford bought the abandoned train station in Corktown last year, announcing that it would be brought back to life and become the hub for autonomous and electric vehicle business.

When the train station opened in 1913, transportation was quite a bit different.

"Everything happened here. This was the center of how people came in and out of our city," Bardelli said. "It was an event to come and take the train or to drop somebody off."

Constructions crews are also finding stories inside the walls. They found some old bottles while tearing out plaster -- there's even a little whisky left in one of them.

"We're kind of speculating but assume that the workers putting the plaster up were refreshing themselves," said Ron Staley, construction manager. "When the bottles were empty instead of having to haul them off, they just stuck 'em back in their plaster work and kept going."

Eighteen levels are being completely restored. Restoring both the inside and the outside of the building is a monumental task that will take years to complete.

"2022. Just three and a half more years. It sounds like a long time but there is a lot of work and we're really pushing real hard," Bardelli said.