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Two years ago, when Ford announced its intention to create the Michigan Central mobility innovation district, it created waves because the site included some of Detroit’s most iconic buildings—landmarks that had languished for decades. This week the automotive giant took the next step by unveiling a 30-acre site plan with lead architect and strategic planner Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) that weaves the existing historic neighborhood into new structures to create an alluring, modernized regional destination for high-tech talent.

01 Book Depository Courtesy Of Genslerweb
Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and Gensler envision how the Michigan Central mobility innovation district will embrace the past and provide future opportunities for Detroit’s communities.

The plans include four key buildings: Michigan Central Station, Building West, the Factory, and the Book Depository. The Beaux Arts–style 1913 Michigan Central Station building will become the hub of the new campus in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood while the Albert Kahn-designed Book Depository, which was built in 1926 and abandoned after a 1987 fire, will be transformed into a whimsical makerspace by a team led by Gensler.

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