Time Running Out for Effort to Save Ford History

Updated: 10/17/2013 6:43 AM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

A St. Paul man is making a push to rescue part of the old Ford Plant in St. Paul's Highland Park that's not yet been demolished, and time is running out.

Brian McMahon, an architectural historian, is looking to preserve a bit of history at the old Ford plant next to the Mississippi River in St. Paul. "Wouldn't it be nice to save part of this building where we can properly acknowledge this long heritage," he said.

The portion of the building he's trying to save is at the northwest corner of the plant at the intersection of Ford Parkway and Mississippi River Boulevard. It's roughly 60 feet by 90 feet.

At one time, the area was corporate offices and a showroom. The plant opened in 1925 making Model T cars and over decades Ford employed thousands of Minnesotans.

McMahon formed the "Save Our Ford Heritage Committee" and took his preservation ideas to the city of St. Paul and Ford. He wasn't encouraged. "We could have and exhibit on the Ford history. However if that's not to be, I think the building could be converted to a different type of use and would fit very well into whatever is going to happen on this site," he said.

McMahon says, all he can do is keep educating people about the importance of the building and how it helped shaped St. Paul.

"Part of the attraction of the site is its history, is its heritage, is its sense of place," McMahon said.

Ford declined to talk to KSTP on camera. In a statement they said, 'demolition of the plant is going well. and Ford continues to work with the City of Saint Paul to move the process forward.'