Michigan Central Station
SAVE THE DEPOT. December 2009.
The most singularly
representative ruin of Detroit, the Michigan Central Station is a must-see stop
on the grand tour of ruins, and one I had put off twice before for various
reasons. The building is well-documented and oft-photographed by others, but
having been through New York City's Grand Central Terminal so many times, I was
determined to experience the comparison in person too.
The firms of Reed & Stem and Warren and Wetmore designed both rail terminals for the New York Central Railroad empire. Detroit's terminal opened in 1913 and served passenger trains until January 1988. The station did not benefit from such an advantageous location as 42nd Street in Manhattan, and its relative remoteness from downtown Detroit has hindered redevelopment plans. The size of the building and amount of necessary restoration work now needed to recover from over 20 years of neglect will add to an eventual cost that will far exceed all the money spent on refurbishing the New York terminal the last couple of decades. If only Detroit would be so lucky.
Untold numbers of websites, newspaper and magazine articles, and books feature the Michigan Central Station. Here I should plug the Images of America book Detroit's Michigan Central Station by Kelli Kavanaugh, as it features a few photographs by none other than Tom Rinaldi.
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