Central Depot message: 'A sentinel of progress'
Four days after the iconic structure was sold to the Ford Motor Co., the Michigan Central Depot facade featured a 1913 quote from the Detroit Tribune, paying tribute to its storied beginning.
The depot had been slated to open in 1914, but a Dec. 26, 1913, fire at the former Michigan Central Railroad station on Third and Fort rushed the new station, the tallest in the world at the time at 230 feet, into service early.
"The new station stood last night, lights shining from windows high above the building line in the neighborhood, a sentinel of progress," reads the quote, printed in the Tribune two days after the depot's rushed opening.
Earlier this week, the building featured two Latin mottoes that pointed to its future.
"Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus" was highlighted across the front of the cavernous,18-story vacant structure on Thursday. Quoting Father Gabriel Richard, pastor of Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church, the first Catholic church in Michigan in 1701, the phrases mean: "We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes." The mottos reference a fire that destroyed Detroit in 1805, according to http://fgrhs.org.
Ford announced Monday that it had bought the former train depot and plans to anchor its next-generation mobility, autonomy and electrification work in the 104-year-old station.
Manuel "Matty" Moroun's family's real estate arm Central Transport International Inc. sold the depot, acquired in 1992, to the automaker.