Detroit may not be ancient Egypt, but that's the comparison one onlooker made when visiting the city's Michigan Central Station in 2009 after Detroit City Council had ordered its demolition.
"Looking at it now, [demolition] seems kind of inevitable," said Keith, a man who claimed to be a former worker in the train station in archival audio provided to Automotive News by Joseph Krause, a local audio producer. (Unfortunately, further identifying information on Keith has been lost.) "I don't know, the Sphinx lasted a long time. I guess they don't make them like they used to."
With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the train station was not demolished -- and this month made headlines after Ford Motor Co. bought it, intending to transform it into the automaker's center for autonomous and electric vehicle engineering.
In the fourth episode of Season 3 of "Futurismo," Automotive News' podcast on tomorrow's cars, we trace what this iconic monument to the rise, fall and subsequent resurgence of the Motor City means for a company that needs to shift the conversation when it comes to its autonomous vehicle efforts.
"If you're going to succeed in this new age as an automaker, you need to develop autonomous vehicles. You need to develop electrified vehicles," Staff Reporter Michael Martinez says in the episode. "And the way to do that, you need to attract talent. Ford hasn't really had that wild card to play, and this train station could be that way."
Listen to the episode, "Relics of the Future," above, and learn how to subscribe to "Futurismo" on the left.