Friday, March 25, 2011

Michigan Central

Detroit: Michigan Central Station

The Freep went straight for the cynicism on this story:

Critics were reacting skeptically today to promises that Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun intends to clean up his derelict Michigan Central Station, one of Detroit's architectural icons that has slowly rotted over the past two decades.

Dan Stamper, president of the bridge company, has been quoted this week saying that the company was acquiring permits to put a new roof on the Michigan Central Station and to put new windows in the building to make it easier to attract a developer.

Early next week, Detroit International Bridge plans to submit to the city the paperwork needed to receive the permits, said Alan Upchurch, a company spokesman.

This building fascinates me, as it has so many others. I grabbed just a few shots of it after an event in Detroit last year; didn't have much time (or courage) to go inside. (check out Forgotten Detroit for some inside photos). You can't really comprehend how big it is until you are standing in front of it. Quite imposing. And beautiful.


Mlive has more:

The depot, standing in front of Roosevelt Park in the Corktown neighborhood, is the centerfold of Detroit ruin porn. Millions of passengers passed through the train station during its 75-year run, but it's sat empty for the past 23 years, aside from urban explorers and graffiti artists.

As Buildings of Detroit put it: "Nothing symbolizes Detroit's grandiose rise and spectacular fall like Michigan Central Station."

Moroun, who owns the Ambassador Bridge along with hundreds of parcels in Detroit, has faced criticism for failing to maintain many of his properties around the city, including the depot. He's previously said he'd be willing to renovate the building if he could find a tenant -- or tear it down if there was a local consensus.

I'm not sure what "new windows" could possibly do for the place. Stamper estimates it would be $80 million for a complete renovation, and that sounds low to me considering all the damage inside. Still, I hope that someone does put the effort into it. It would be an amazing thing to see it restored.


Hope to get down there again and take more shots one of these days...