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The Rebirth of Michigan Central Station


The wait is finally over.


June 6th, 2024 is fianlly here and the moment we have all been waiting for has come. Michigan Central Station has officially re-opened its doors after being closed for 35 years.


The iconic building stands tall over Michigan Aveune as a rememberance of the history of Detroit, and now as a symbol of how far the city has come over the years. If you didn't get a chance to get tickets to the opening week, don't worry, because we are here to show you what you missed.


If you want to the Detroit Train Station in person for yourself, the public will be able to walk through the restored halls starting June 21st through the summer on the weekends.


To kick off the festivities of the grand re-opening Ford put on a massive concert, The lineup included stars like Eminem, Diana Ross, Jack White, Big Sean, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and more. A massive stage was setup on the front lawn area in Roosevelt Park, as almost 20,000+ people rocked the night away to their favorite songs. Probaly the most memorable performance of the night though, came from Eminem himself. As an executive producer, it was unclear if he was going to take the stage as an artist, but I mean come on, we all knew he would right? To top that off, Trick Trick and Jelly Roll also joined him, what an amazing performance it was. You can see some shots from that concert below taken by Photographer Helmut Ziewers (ziewersphotography.com)

(Click to Enlarge)

You can currently stream the concert on the Peacock App.


Michigan Central Open


As Friday morning came, the stage was being torn down, but the food trucks were lining the side street of the west end of the train station, getting ready for all those lucky visitors who would soon be making their way into one of the most anticipated restoration projects ever conducted. MichiganScapes was one of those lucky ones, with a 12:30 appointment. The ticket sales for the walkthrough of the historic train station were nothing short of stressful and it felt like a lion going after its prized feast. Within minutes of clicking the website link, the tickets were sold out! The tours are being held June 7th through the 16th, and will open to the public on the 21st.


As Derek Farnquist and I (Ryan Jakubowski) arrived to the site, we got lucky in finding parking on one of the side streets. Keep in mid, if you are heading down there, parking could be tricky. We were able to get right in to the grassy area where the food trucks lined up and bands were practicing their aweosme songs at for all visitors to hear.


Near the front of the entrance there was a welcome sign with a piece of the train station being used as a pedistal. The detail was absolutley amazing to see it up close like that. Of course we snapped our selfies by it and admired the outside shots we were able to get. We had never been this close to it before since it had been gated off for so many years, so to see it fully restored and be able to walk right up it was excellent!



Before the line started, we stopped over to the Michigan Central store to grab some swag and represent our excitment for this day. If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend it. There are tons of options for T-shirts, hats, pins, water bottles, mugs, candles, and even actual tickets from the train station in a glass display piece! Don't forget the limited time art work posters as well!



The time had come for us to join the line of others egerly awaiting the entrance. It went pretty fast considering how many people there were. The scanned the bar codes and we had the chance to chat with some amazing women in front of us who remember coming to this station to see her sister get off the train, and drop off other family members for trips.


They grew up in Detroit and were amazed by how much work had been done, and were so happy to see this taking place. What a cool experience that must have been for them to be part of history like this, all way from childhood to now! As we entered insite, they placed us by a set of elevators, geeked out of our minds that we were in the doors, we admired the insane tile work and details.


The next room theymoved us into had a video playing, a quick into to MCS and the history of Detroit. The video showed how much pride the city of Detroit and Ford had for this project and for the city as a whole.


The next step was entering into the main lobby, the area you are looking at in the front of the building. To say this was jaw dropping was an understatement, as we opened the doors the gold color lights and tiles stretching from wall to wall felt like we were stepping back into time. 29,000 tiles alone were on the ceiling of the Grand Hall.


These were designed by famous architect Rafael Guastavino. to make it even more impressive, the restoration team had to check every tile! The attention to detail that we saw was so perfect and fitting. The intricate 3D printed flower designs within the windows, to the incredible chandeliers shining the light down upon us made the whole scene around us feel complete.


The windows themselves were a work of art, and the reflections on the floor tile made the room feel even bigger than it was, which is quite hard to imagine because this room was massive! In the center of the floor was a long white wavy board of information, detiling what took place during the timeline of the past 6 years. It was so stunning to see how many different things took place to make this all come together.



As we made our way around the main lobby area, there was a massive mirror in the SE corner by one of the windows. On it was a message from Bill Ford. (Photos by Ryan Jakubowski)


The room next to the lobby in the front of the station displayed a number of pictures of those who worked on the project and restoration. The tile designs carried throughout the area as well as details in the windows. Such a great way to thank all of those who worked so hard. Across from that was a secret treasure, a hidden staircase that had been covered up by a wall years ago! The best part, they kept it all original so you can get an idea of what it was like back then!



We had the pleasure of meeting a guard standing at this post in this room who told us about his experience throughout the years. He got lucky when applying for jobs and had the option to apply with GM, Chrysler, or Ford which he ultimatley chose based on the location to where he lived being in Dearborn.


He use to come to the train station as a kid and had so many memories of family traveling out of here, so he was delighted to find out that he would be stationed at that ery post for years during he time of the restoration and now the grand opening. A full circle of enjoyment, he loved what was done to the place and all of the memories it brought back to him.


Just on the ther side of this room, was one of my favorite ones, the Archive Room! Talk about stepping back in time, there were displays of old graffiti from the origional walls that had been cut out and saved, tons of pictures of what it use to look like back in the day, an old bagage carier used to take luggage from the train to the pickup area inside, parts of the celing details, and even a lost and found.


A book of items found on trains detailing the item, where it was found and when, and also some of those articles displayed behind glass. It was amazing to see. Another great trat in this room was the historic carriage house clock which for years had been taken and missing. Luckily, it was retunred once they found out that Ford was restoring the station and it was brought back to a beautiful finish.




The next area along the way was the main atrium glass room at the back of the building. This open space was beautifully done and so clean looking. A local artist displayed a fiber optic light piece in the center, while a massive lego model stood near one of the ends. Looking up, a mix of crystal clear glass and steel holding up the glass, making it look exactly like it was back in the day.




One of the most impressive areas of the restoration was the middle of MCS where the origional ticket windows use to be. This was something I didnt expect to see, on th outisde, beautiful detail of where thousands stood to get their ticket to travel.


The glass was backlit white so ti was easily distinguishable. There were 3 doors cutout of the center area to make way into the what use to be the vault area, now it was the poster vault! One of the most colorful rooms i have ever seen in any building, dedicated to the hisotry of Micihigan Central Station, and Detroit. Old ticket posters, travel destiniations, currency information, Red Wings and more lined the walls of this room. Neon signs were placed throughout making the perfect oppertunity for a selfie.


You could spend an hour alone looking at all of the art work in this place alone. People we talked to loved how it was something they did not expect seeing, but at the same time paid a great deal of respect to the city and the station.



Above the ticket booths was another amazing clock that had been worked on in exquisite detail by hand for over a year! The original was believed to be broken apart and sold for scrap, but some pieces were saved and used to recreate the clock. It is 6 feet tall, 8 feet wide and weighs in at 1000 pounds!



As you make your way out of the building, through the west end door next to the atrium, you can view some of the origional works of graffiti from the days it was abandoned. I LOVE how they decided to do this. There is so much history with this building, and they understand that those 35 years it sat empty was part of it as well. It also goes to show hoe much respect they have for local artists and their medium, to be able to hold onto those pieces, display pictures of them, and have parts in the archive gallery.



We hope you enjoyed this photographic tour of Detroits most iconic building, the Michigan Central Station. We want to say thank you to Ford Motor Company for doing such an outstanding job at the restoration. MichiganScapes is all about preserving history and bringing knowledge of places that make Michigan who we are and this is the perfect example.


Be sure to spread the word about this restoration and share this article with your friends and family. If you are one of the lucky ones who gets to visit this in person, be sure to stop by the merchandise shop on your way out to get aweome T-shirts, posters, keychains and much more!






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