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Michigan Central Station

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

So Bill Ford wants the Blue Oval to buy the decrepit Michigan Central Depot. You know that toothless edifice, empty and decaying since 1988, towering over Detroit’s Corktown. It’s an 18-story high reminder of the industrial and financial decline that has been synonymous with this town.         

Until very recently.

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The oldest surviving neighborhood in Detroit is Corktown. Irish immigrants started settling there in the 1830s, and many of them were from County Cork.

You could make a good case that the most famous symbol of Detroit's decline and urban decay is right there in the heart of Corktown: the Michigan Central Station.

The once-glorious train station closed 30 years ago and has since been ravaged by scrappers and weather. Now we hear that Ford is in talks to buy Michigan Central and return to the city.

Michigan Central Station in Detroit
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As Ford talks of buying Michigan Central Station, residents in the surrounding neighborhood might be the ones seeing the most impact.

Central Station in Detroit
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Thirty years ago this week, on January 5, 1988, the last train left Michigan Central Station. That moment marked the end of nearly 75 years of Michiganders catching trains at the once-proud station.

Dan Austin, who has written three books about Detroit history and founded HistoricDetroit.org, and Mark Harvey, state archivist from the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to discuss the station's legacy.

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Last Thursday, commerce giant Amazon announced it would build a second corporate headquarters, known as Amazon HQ2, somewhere in North America. It's now up to metropolitan areas across the country to show they're the best option to meet the company's needs.

"It's going to set off an inter-state bidding war," said Chad Livengood, a senior reporter covering Detroit for Crain's Detroit Business.