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Ford plant demolition begins as city leaders dream big

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City leaders in St. Paul Monday morning had a formal kick-off ceremony to mark the beginning of the demolition of the historic Ford Motor assembly plant on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The Star Tribune had a live video feed of the demolition Monday morning.

Crews have already been busy at the site, ripping down sheds, outbuildings and other plant structures, and gutting the assembly and paint buildings, which are the two largest structures at the site, MPR reports.

The demolition job could last through 2015, although parking lot removal may not be completed until until 2018. Workers will use a screening material at the site to help control dust and noise, MPR noted.

City leaders are now focused on the plant site's future. They have high hopes for the redevelopment of the sprawling 150-acre site, set amid a business district and nearby residential areas in the Highland Park neighborhood. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman envisions a new economic engine for St. Paul in the form of a mixed-use redevelopment with urban design and transit, KARE 11 reports.

The city has more info about the demolition, as well as a project timeline, on its website.

Workers began making cars at the plant in 1925 and produced more than 6 million automobiles through 2011, when it closed. The first car it produced was a model T. In its most recent years, the plant produced Ford Ranger pickups.

Ford has a one-page, at-a-glance timeline history of the plant. MPR has a short video history of the plant.

MinnPost and the Star Tribune also have more about the plant's history.

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