Project Description

Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage was built in 1927 and was located at 1921 East Ferry Street near the corner of St. Aubin Street, on Detroit’s near east side.  The Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage was a cold storage facility located directly on the tracks (indoor access) of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad system in order to ship and receive products that were stored at the Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage.

The Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage was a giant, ten-story, all concrete structure that was made with reinforced-concrete columns and featured a large, metal water tower that rose from the rooftop of the building.  The exterior was an ugly gray color with protruding, flat-square columns that ran along the exterior façade of the building.  The first floor of the building featured an open-floor with the yellow-bottom, concrete-columns exposed along the front and side of the building.  The second, third, and fourth floor were all similar and had rows of rectangular windows that fit in between each of the protruding columns on the building’s façade.  These floors were the administration offices and meetings rooms for the company’s business. The fifth floor through the tenth floor were are similar in layout as well.  Theses floors were all windowless, as this is where the majority of the large coolers used for storage were located.  The interior of the Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage was mostly storage space, but the most interesting features were the massive overhead doors and huge freight elevators.  With most of the Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage floors being windowless, it made the exterior look like the building was some sort of bomb-shelter or a state penitentiary.  Atop of the building’s exterior and just below the cornice, the large, red block -letters of “GRAND TRUNK WAREHOUSE & COLD STORAGE” were painted on the front of the building.  The Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage was used by Beatrice Foods Company until it finally closed down.

In 2002, the Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage was closed down as most of the business of cold storage had shifted to more modern systems in large part due to the technological advancements that had taken place over the years.  After going vacant in 2002, the Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage became a large target (literally) for scrappers, vandals, thieves, and graffiti “taggers.”  It was quickly scrapped and blown wide open and has remained this way for many years.

As of 2015, the Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage still sits abandoned.  There seems to have been little effort to secure the building over the years.  There are no current plans for the property.