Michigan Central Station was built in 1913 as the tallest rail station in the world for the Michigan Central Railroad. Despite the gaining popularity of automobile use when the station was built, rail travel was still the main form of transpiration and it is represented in the architecture of the building with beautiful details throughout. Most passengers arrived by streetcar.Michigan Central Station was built as a passenger rail depot to replace it’s predecessor that had burned down. The new station was placed some distance from downtown in hopes that it would anchor new development in that area as well as being on the main train line and not a spur. Mid-century, at the peak of rail travel in the United States more than two hundred trains left the station each day. The building was designed by Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem firms in the Beaux-Arts Classical style who also designed New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
Despite being a successful train station over the years, Michigan Central Station was just too large and getting too old to upkeep and maintain. Unfortunately, the last train from Michigan Central Station departed in 1988. Michigan Central Station would close shortly after and has been abandoned since 1988.Michigan Central Station is located in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit on Michigan Avenue behind Roosevelt Park, near the former Tiger Stadium and to the southwest the Ambassador bridge. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. The City council passed a resolution for the demolition of the Depot in 2009. Legal Actions citing the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 halted plans for demolition.The Depot is an iconic structure for Detroit. Drawing sightseers and those killing time waiting in line for Slows barbaque across the street to take a look. It’s on the list for almost everyone visiting detroit as a destination. Its an important landmark for the city and it’s future is uncertain.
As of 2015, Michigan Central Station has gotten a new roof and new windows. While the building’s future is still questionable, at least the historic structure is getting some much needed and long overdue TLC.