Group Takes One Last Shot at Saving Ford Plant

Updated: 10/19/2013 6:47 PM By: Josh Rosenthal

Demolition is well underway at the old Ford Plant in St. Paul, but that didn't stop dozens of people from gathering Saturday in hope of saving what's left.

"Saving part of the plant, I just think it's something historical from, you know, St. Paul," explained former Ford Employee Donald Popp. He worked at the plant from 1955 to 1987, and he's one of many people who gathered at the Hillcrest Recreation Center looking to save the portion of the plant at the intersection of Ford Parkway and Mississippi River Boulevard.

At one time, it was home to corporate offices and a showroom, and it's where Ford employed thousands of Minnesotans for decades. That includes Robert Johnson, who started in 1964.

"It would be very nice to save a portion and keep it there forever," said Johnson, "but it's hard to say what will happen."

That's what the gathering was all about -- one last ditch effort to raise awareness and remember the good times, or in Popp's case, the good meals.

"I got a Ford spoon in here," he explained, pulling the spoon out of his old metal lunch pail. In his mind, the pail is a lot like the plant -- no longer in use, but still worth saving.

Earlier this week, Ford declined to talk to us on camera. In a statement, they said demolition of the plant is going well, and they continue to work with the city of St. Paul to move the process forward.