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Michigan Central Station tours: Parking, what's inside, & everything you need to know

Posted at 1:31 PM, Jun 06, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Public tours of Michigan Central Station begin Friday, about six years after Ford first purchased the property and began a massive renovation project that totaled nearly $1 billion.

VIDEO: Watch as people experience the renovated Michigan Central Station for the first time:

Watch as people experience the Michigan Central Station renovations for the first time

Tickets for Michigan Central OPEN are sold out, and the train station will be open every day for tours from June 7-16.

See inside The Grand Hall - the historic waiting room below

Inside Michigan Central Station: See the restored Grand Hall

See inside the historic Women's waiting room below

Inside Michigan Central Station: See the restored women's waiting room

See inside the historic Arcade below

Inside Michigan Central Station: See the restored Arcade

See inside the historic Ticket Lobby below

Inside Michigan Central Station: See the restored Ticket Lobby

If you were lucky enough to get tickets, here is everything you need to know about the Open House.

Where to park?

Complimentary parking will be available at the Bagley Mobility Hub, located at 1501 Wabash St., which is about one block from the station.

There is also street parking available in the Corktown area.

What are the entry requirements?

You'll have to scan your ticket and go through security upon entry. Guests may also go through a bag check process.

When should you arrive?

Officials say to arrive 15 minutes before your entry time. Your ticket allows you access to the station within 30 minutes of your ticket window.

How long should you be there?

Officials say visitors should expect to enjoy the open house for no more than an hour.

What if you don't have tickets?

Starting June 21, Michigan Central Station will be open for self-guided tours from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays through August. No tickets are required.

Are there food and drinks?

While there won't be drinks inside, there will be local vendors in front of Newlab in the Michigan Central Plaza at certain times throughout the day, as well as plenty of restaurants in Corktown and Southwest Detroit.

What are the visual experiences?

See the visual experiences in the video below

What people can expect to see inside Michigan Central Station during the open house

Michigan Central officials have plenty of visual experiences for people who are doing they tour.

They include:

The MC Cube, A Dynamic Film Experience

Inside the Historic Women’s Waiting Room, visitors will experience a 15’ x 15’ cubed LED installation that tells the journey of Michigan Central Station: history, restoration and the next chapter.

The Story of The Station

A 1000’ sculptural timeline of shared moments of triumph, adversity, innovation, and resilience that flows down the center of Grand Hall.

Faces of Michigan Central, A Portrait Gallery

Millions of people have a connection to The Station and Michigan Central district. Faces of Michigan Central shares the stories of just a small handful of them. You can listen to them recount their memories in their own voice.

What’s Your Station Story?

In the Historic Reading Room, visitors will be invited to recount their own personal memories, stories, and hopes for The Station in an intimate testimonial space. These messages will be memorialized in a time capsule so that future generations can connect with our voices and experience what The Station’s reopening means to Detroit residents during this once-in-a-generation moment.

Open Archive, Resurrecting a Landmark

Open Archive is a collection of behind-the-scenes photographs, artifacts, and unexpected treasures that offer a glimpse into Ford’s daunting undertaking: restoring the deteriorated and decayed Station.

Poster Vault, A Visual Trip Through Culture 

Pays homage to the rich visual history surrounding The Station and our city. Accompanied by a soundtrack of songs forever linked to Detroit, visitors can explore walls covered with surprising artifacts ranging from original train posters, vintage postcards, concert announcements, local sports team memorabilia, and even flyers for past raves.

Windows into The Station's Future

Take a stroll through a vibrant light installation within the Historic Arcade to learn about the innovation-first, community-centered opportunities and programming at The Station, and how that will constantly evolve as more and more people become a part of Michigan Central’s vision.

me + you, Interactive AI and Light Sculpture

A transformative experience that responds to the distinct historical architecture of The Station’s South Concourse. Visitors speak a single-word vision of the future into the cloud base at designated points. Using open-source AI technology, me + you acts as a translator to express back that word as a unique pattern of light and color that shimmers across the structure, like a mandala, unique to each visitor.

The Kids’ Zone

At The Kids’ Zone, people of all ages can grab a complimentary “color-your-own” poster to express their unique vision of The Station, enjoy an interactive scavenger hunt full of secrets to discover throughout the space, and check out an incredible model of The Station crafted out of LEGO®

Michigan Central in Motion

Learn more about the opportunities across Michigan Central, a 30-acre district where leaders, thinkers, communities, and creators come together to accelerate bold ideas and technologies that shape our collective future. See how the innovation ecosystem is coming together with world-class infrastructure, tools, resources, and cultural experiences ranging from the Advanced Aerial Innovation Region to America’s First Electrified Public Road to public green spaces like the park coming soon south of The Station.