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Michigan Central Station rescuer talks about the fight to preserve the historic landmark

DETROIT – Bill Ford Jr. and his company financed the billion-dollar transformation and deserve most of the credit for the reopening Michigan Central Station and to organize the big gala concert.

Ford participated in 2018, but another DetroitersStanley Christmas, 75, had planted his flag in the ground nearly a decade earlier to save Michigan Central Station.

Christmas clashed with the Detroit City Council in 2009. Even though he was working as a security guard at the time, he sued the city, presented his case to a judge himself, and stopped the demolition process.

“It was almost a crime,” Christmas said.

Few will forget the Detroit City Council version with Charles Pugh and Monica Conyers.

They were so angry with Central Station owner Matty Moroun that they voted to demolish the building, but Christmas came early.

“I was determined, with my modest means and my humble nature, not to allow this building to be demolished,” Christmas said.

Christmas filed a lawsuit under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and took the city's lawyers to a hearing before a judge, and that seemed to end talks of demolition.

Without Christmas, the concert celebration on Thursday (June 6) would never have taken place, but not him.

“I don't think it was all my fault, but I was a thorn in the side of those on the city council and they knew who I was and what I was up to,” Christmas said.

The 75-year-old didn't get an invitation or try to get a ticket to the show, but Local 4 just couldn't bring him to the relaunch or sneak him in, so that's what we did.

“It was a dinosaur and now it's in ecstasy and people will be enjoying it, using it and making the most of it for a long, long time, long after I'm gone,” Christmas said.

The 75-year-old said he was too excited and couldn't say enough about Bill Ford's billion-dollar renovation.

“I'm so happy for the Fords, the great family, the incredible Ford family,” Christmas said. “They came in and took it over and brought it back to life. It's a beautiful building.”

We often hear about the Spirit of Detroit. Christmas embodies this never-give-up attitude as he brings gifts to his fellow citizens in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Stanley Christmas took on the Detroit City Council in 2009. Although he was working as a security guard at the time, he sued the city, presented his case to a judge himself, and stopped the demolition process. (Copyright 2024 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.)

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Copyright 2024 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.