The CPA Building was built in 1923 and was located at 2238 Michigan Avenue, at the corner of 14th Street just outside of downtown Detroit. People often assume that the CPA Building was for Certified Public Accountants, but it was really the Detroit headquarters for the Conductor’s Protective Association. The Conductor’s Protective Association was an agency established and designed to help protect the train conductors that worked at the adjacent Michigan Central Station, also known as Detroit’s train station. The CPA Building was home to the agency that bares the building’s name. The agency organized health insurance, unemployment benefits, and employee files for the train conductors that worked across the street at MCS. The CPA Building remained home to the agency until Michigan Central Station closed in 1988.
After MCS closed, the CPA Building underwent several changes over the next several years. The building was a restaurant, church offices, an architectural firm, and even a bank in it’s last days. The CPA Building has been abandoned since 2008, but recent rumors suggest someone may have bought the building for a nice rehab project. The strangest thing is the fact that when we explored the building, the first floor on the south side of the building was completely covered in hundreds of lampshades. Lampshades? We still can’t figure out why.
As of 2016, workers have completely boarded all the windows inside of the CPA Building and sealed it shut. The rumor is that the former CPA Building could become retail space and lofts, but that is just a RUMOR at this point.