DETROIT — Bill Ford was a child the first time he stepped through a bronze door into the marble-floored concourse of Michigan Central Station. The Fords were catching a train to California, and Bill was awestruck by the sea of travelers passing under the cavernous lobby's high arches and ornate chandeliers.
"I remember walking in, just taking a look and going, "Wow," he said.
Decades later, as the towering depot sat derelict and crumbling, it evoked a much different emotion.
"I've seen Detroit at its best and at its worst," Ford, 61, said, "and one thing I hated was when the national media was writing about the decay of Detroit, the poster child for that was always the train station. That always really bothered me, because I remembered as a young boy when it was amazing. They kept using that as a metaphor for what happened in Detroit."