(WXYZ) — Ford Motor Company has hired an architectural contractor aimed to restore Michigan Central Station.
EverGreen Architectural Arts aims to revive the "grandest areas of the train depot," including the main waiting area, arcade, ticket lobby and restaurant.
The company will replicate and restore approximately 56,000 square feet of decorative plasterwork. EverGreene will preserve and clean what original plaster material can be saved and re-create new portions where needed.
The 18-month project will use three plaster techniques – traditional three-coat plaster, ornamental plaster and veneer plaster – and will require replicating more than 3,000 cast plaster pieces, including the coffers, medallions and rosettes that adorn the waiting room’s walls and ceilings.
Austin Giesey, project manager for Christman-Brinker, the construction team leading the Michigan Central Station restoration project, says the effect when it’s finished will be “jaw dropping.”
“The original architects used every plaster craft available to them to create the station’s impressive public spaces,” Giesey said in a press release. “People don’t realize just how much detail has been lost over the past 30 years. When we’re finished with these spaces, they will look phenomenal. You will walk in and see a grand expanse of stonelike plaster that will look exactly like the original concept. It’s really going to be amazing.”
While some digital tools will be used, a team of 15 to 20 craftspeople from EverGreene will do most of the plasterwork by hand using floor-to-ceiling scaffolding.
EverGreene has contributed to projects at Orchestra Hall, Detroit Public Library, Detroit Institute of Arts and the Fisher Building. The company has also performed plaster and decorative painting work on the Michigan State Capitol building.
Jeff Greene, executive chairman and founder of EverGreene, said Michigan Central Station is an extraordinary, well-made building whose renovation will attract national attention when it reopens.
“To play even a small role in the transformation of this iconic building is incredible,” said Greene. “There’s a lot of gratification, not only in the craft and what we do with our hands, but the act of elegantly preserving something that means so much to this city. A project of this scale will reverberate on the national stage.”
EverGreene will attempt to salvage and repurpose as much of the original building material as possible.