Showing posts with label Michigan Central Station. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan Central Station. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Take a Drive and See Some Art Without Getting Out of Your Car

In 2018, a non-profit called Capturing Belief partnered with SAY Detroit Play Center to contribute to their vision to be the premier training center for young people to improve their community and nurture their individual growth. In 2019, they worked with a new group of young people and continued their mission to "use visual storytelling to shatter stereotypes, dismantle biases, and create universal belonging for young people of color". In 2020, they planned to partner with Inside Southwest Detroit and Ford Motor Company to continue and expand their in-person training program, but thanks to COIVD-19 they had to completely rethink everything to pivot their plans for the 2020/21 session. To do this, they took everything 100% virtual and put a big focus on mental health throughout their 15-week program. 

They called this new version of the program the #remoteAllyProject. The goal of these sessions was to create visual art and to help youth to process what they were going through as their school year was abruptly interrupted and they were forced into isolation by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 15 weeks, 19 students from Detroit, Kenya, France, and Italy were encouraged to maintain a positive focus while they worked with 8 different teachers to develop better communication and thinking skills while learning about the art of visual storytelling. 

The fruits of that effort are currently on display in front of the Michigan Central Station at Michigan Avenue and Vernor Hwy. in Corktown. You can drive through to see over 100 photos that the students captured for the project. It is an inside look at how the next generation is processing something that we are all still trying to work through in real-time. It is not only a powerful display, but a nice way to get out of the house to experience art in a year that has been relatively empty of artistic gatherings. 

The photos will be on display through January 31st, so you only have a couple more weeks to take a drive through the display. To learn more about Capturing Belief click here. To learn more about #remoteallyproject and to follow them on Instagram click here.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Ford + Michigan Central Station

The Michigan Central Station abruptly opened it's doors in January of 1914 after the old station burned down on December, 26th 1913.The train depot and 18 story high office building were designed by the same team that created New York's Grand Central Station. In fact, the stations only opened around 6 months apart. The lobby was designed to look like a Roman bath house with features like marble walls and vaulted ceilings. The original building served as a train station and an Amtrack station until 1988 when the last train officially took off from the station.

For the next 30 years, the space has slowly deteriorated. Every few years you would hear whispers that someone was purchasing the station or making plans to restore it, but nothing ever happened. The owners eventually gated it and made sure that for the last ten years, no one got inside. They said it was too unsafe for people to be going inside anymore and the building was too far gone to be restored without some major money. So, it sat there, filling up with water and rotting in the center of Corktown until 2011 when they drained the basement and threw some windows on it. This major makeover restarted the rumors that someone was purchasing the station, but nothing happened until a few weeks ago. Turns out, that someone ended up being Ford Motor Company.

Ford Motor Company was created in 1903 by Henry Ford. He revolutionized the car industry by introducing the assembly line to American car making and by paying his workers a live-able $5 a day wage with benefits, including a shorter 8 hour workday and weekends off of work. He started the company inside the Piquette Avenue Plant, and quickly moved to the Highland Park Plant, before opening the River Rouge plant in 1928. Ford opened the Willow Run plant in 1942 before they opened their World Headquarters in Dearborn in 1956. At that point, they started opening factories all over the world and expanding into territories that Henry Ford could have never imagined. He passed away in 1947, long before the company grew into the giant that it would become. Ford has made it through the Great Depression, World War I and II, and the crash of 2009 without borrowing money from the US taxpayers like two other local companies. They have outlasted many of their competitors and found some interesting ways to make things work in really rough times. These are all traits that will help them as they take their next step into the future and build their new home downtown in the heart of Corktown.

This historical announcement was made at a press conference on Tuesday, that featured speeches from CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford. Both innovators stressed the importance of moving their next development to the City of Detroit and what it meant to restore this historic building. They talked about embracing the future of driving and technology by working hard to find new ways to "make people's lives better". They also detailed their plans for the space which include a new Corktown campus that will focus on the future of mobility, including how to make transit easier, faster, safer, and cheaper in cities and in the suburbs that surround them. You can watch a full stream of the live event here. It includes a performance by Big Sean that is worth a watch.

The new Ford campus will be around 1.2 million square feet, it will include a mixed use space that will feature offices, retail, and housing. The new offices will likely host around 2,500 employees with the possibility to eventually host another 2,500 in the near future. The renovations will take an estimated four years to complete and the finished product may look something like this: 

But, before they get to work to renovate the historical space, they are inviting the public to come in and legally tour the station for the first time in 30 years. Just under a year ago I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon inside the train station and it was one of the most magical days of my life. All of the photos in this post were taken on that magical day when I had the chance to walk the station privately with a few good friends. Make sure you stop by this weekend and have a memorable moment of your own, this will be the first and last time anyone sees the train station looking like this again! 
Tours will take place from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. You can click here to sign yourself up for a tour and you can find all the rules for the tours here. This is your last chance to see the building before it goes through a rebirth! Congrats to Ford and all the businesses that we love in Corktown that will hopefully benefit from this move. Think it was hard to get a table at Takoi before?


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Take a Tour of Corktown on your Bike!

Want to take a look inside one of Detroit's oldest neighborhoods? This Sunday Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop will take you on an in-depth tour of Corktown. This 10-mile ride will take a look at the area's Victorian homes in the area, historic buildings and churches, the lot where Tigers Stadium was once located, Michigan Grand Central Station and some of the area's urban farms. While you're riding, tour guides will discuss the changes the city has gone through and its history. Tour guide Kelli Kavanaugh is an 18 year resident of the historical area and she is full of interesting information about her hometown.

The ride is 10 miles long and will take about 3 hours to complete. The group will be making a refreshments stop at Batch Brewing Company while they are out! The cost is $30 to ride with the group and $40 if you need to also rent a bike. This is the group's last ride for the year so you don't want to miss it! YOU MUST PURCHASE tickets to be part of this event and there is a limited number of spots, so click here to ensure your spot today!


Friday, July 15, 2016

Bands Take Over the City for Crash Detroit

Are you a fan of the Detroit Party Marching Band? If so, then this is an event you won't want to miss! Crash Detroit will bring together street bands and marching bands from throughout the county for two awesome days of music.

The first night, Friday, July 15th, the bands will "Crash" bars and businesses throughout the city. Between 8 and 11 p.m. bands will show up and play at places like Two James and even the Tigers game. Here's the full list of who will be playing where.

Bands: The Party Band // Dead Music Capital // Bitch, Thunder!
Locations: Nancy Whiskey, Two James, Mercury Burger Bar, McShane's, 
PJ's Lager House (good chance!), Batch Brewing

Bands: Bitch, Thunder! // Black Sheep Ensemble
Locations: Motor City Brewing Works, Jumbos, Plato Beer, Canfield Street, Circa 1890 Saloon

Bands: Environmental Encroachment // Jefferson Street Parade Band
Locations: Cliff Bells (if there is not a competing performance), Park Bar, 
Tigers Game, Greektown area, Campus Martius

After a night of crashing bars, the main event will happen at Roosevelt Park on Saturday, July 16th. There, over 20 bands will play throughout the day under two tents. Admission to the show at the park is free and the music is set to start at 2 p.m. Roosevelt Park is located right in front of the train station in Corktown at 2200 Michigan Ave. The party will go all day until 10 p.m. Check out the full schedule of bands below.