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Day after day, Bill Ford drove his Mustang GT along Michigan Avenue between Dearborn and Detroit, past the graffiti-covered train station. And he started to wonder about his legacy, his family’s legacy and the future of Ford Motor Co.

“I kept staring at the train station thinking, ‘What if? Wouldn’t that be amazing?’ ” he told the Free Press. “If all we did was to restore this fabulous building and make it sparkle, that would be great. But we’re going to do much more than that. It’s really about creating the future of transportation. And doing it in Corktown.”

The purchase of the Michigan Central Station brings to life Ford’s vision, a vision designed to navigate a changing future rather than falling victim to it.

Bill Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, sat in the depot’s cavernous, long-neglected lobby for an interview with the Free Press on Wednesday, two days after the company’s audacious purchase was announced.

“Throughout most of my adulthood, when I would travel anywhere outside of Michigan, people would ask where I was from and I would say ‘Detroit.’ Often people said, ‘Gee, I’m sorry.’ Or ‘Why? Why would you live there?’ I was always very proud of this area. And I love Detroit. Even this building we’re in. It was always photographed as the symbol of what had become of Detroit. It was the symbol of the ruin of our city.”

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