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Michigan Central Station PART I of IV


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82 replies to this topic

#1 wolverine

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 01:57 AM

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Located on Detroit's west side, Michigan Central Station was built in 1913. It has now sat abandoned for over two decades open to the elements. I feel it's important that these pictures are posted, to show everyone how necessary it is that this building gets renovated. I encourage you to view other photos of MCS taken only a few years ago and compare the damage over those years. The purpose of visiting this site was not to explore the station, but document it so that it will always be preserved in images. The Madison Lennox demolition proved that even the law cannot prevent Detroit's most historical structures from dissapearing at any given time. Hopefully this one won't be next.

I hope you enjoy this 4 part tour as much as we did visiting the station. I met up with Allan and he showed me around the place. Thanks for the tour! Anyway, here are the photos I took.

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Front of the building

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Major detail on the office tower.

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Back of the station.

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The inside tour will start from the basement on up. So here is the basement elevator lobby.

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The basement was very disorienting. There were lots of hallways and tunnels that we didn't even go down since they seemed to go on forever.

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A zoomed out shot of that hallway.

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Some areas had light coming in from holes in the ceiling.

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I think I'll turn around here.

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So there's a tunnel that goes somewhere.

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And this room took us nowhere, unless you have a boat.

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The basment extends out the back, so there are some windows.

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Connected to the back of the building is this parking garage. The tracks run above it. The camera didn't show the depth of it very well, so I'm not sure how far it goes back.

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Apparently there are more Liltons in Michigan than just one.

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And now we're on the first floor, entering near the restaurant.

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Paneled waiting room (Women's waiting room?)

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The restaurant oesn't look very appetizing, but the vaulting was architecturally fullfilling.

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I'm not 100% sure, but I think the steel was added to prevent the arches from spreading under lateral force.

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Large windows

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Broken roof of the waiting room. I'm not sure if that is what it actually was, so I'll refer to it as the 2nd room since it's at the back of the station. The first room, being that grand entry area.

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Passanger dropoff area for motor vehicles.

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Which then leads into the 2nd room.

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Looking through the station from the rampway to the platforms

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2nd room

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The sun finally shined in for a brief moment illuminating the brickwork.

STAY TUNED FOR PART II!!
I'm still researching this building, so if anybody has some valuable info, feel free to post it.

 

#2 ironchapman

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 02:03 AM

Wow...that's depressing what's happened to it.

I hope it'll one day get fixed.

Best of luck in your research.

I'm not from the area, so what is the station for?

#3 wolverine

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 02:05 AM

It was Detroit's major train station. The last owner that used it was Amtrak. There are proposals for it, but I doubt any of them will happen.

#4 ironchapman

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 02:09 AM

Maybe it could be declared a historic place...ar has that happened?

Maybe one of the proposals will pass.

I wish I could help, but I don't live anywhere near Detroit....I live in Douglasvill, GA, to be exact.

Look forward to the rest of the series.

#5 Allan

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 11:30 AM

Nice photos. I still need to photograph the public rooms on a sunny day. The sun doesn't like to cooperate with me. LOL.

The "second room" is the concourse.

#6 SNWEB

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 11:51 AM

The concourse roof was a skylight, and the vaulted ceiling in the restaurant had that steel in it because it later had a drop ceiling.

Good pics

#7 wolverine

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 01:16 PM

the vaulted ceiling in the restaurant had that steel in it because it later had a drop ceiling.

Good pics

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Oh okay, I thought that was likely a reason too. Might as well keep it in anyway for the time being, since things are beginning to fall apart.

#8 SNWEB

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 05:56 PM

Who wouldn't wanna dine in this!
http://technotourist...-restaurant.jpg

#9 Zissou

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 06:27 PM

That is a great picture! It would have been real cool to have seen this building back in its heyday. I know its unlikely but hopefully someday we will be able to see this building functional again.

#10 rbdetsport

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 07:13 PM

I was on the freeway today going to my baseball games and I was looking at the station. I thought about it and it was so sad that I could see right through it. I asked my dad if he ever used the station and he told me his story. He was a kid going to Downers Grove with his family. He told me that the station was just like Union Station in downtown Chicago. Maybe even better. He remembered the platforms and many things about it. Of course, that was when Detroit was actually, in no better words than "GOOD."

#11 SNWEB

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 07:14 PM

MCS has the same look as NY Central Station, designed by the same architects

#12 wolverine

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 09:27 PM

A few years ago when I spent my summer in Manhattan, I used to eat lunch every weekday in the food court at Grand Central Station. (prices were reasonable there) The eating areas do have so many similarities. The marble is almost (or might) even be the same since they were done by the same guy.

MCS is brighter though, probably because it's more trasparent nowadays.

EDIT: i hope you guys don't mind a wait on the other three parts. I've been busy with work and stuff, but I have a few days off next week.

Edited by wolverine, 28 May 2005 - 09:40 PM.


#13 Zissou

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 10:38 PM

Take your time. Youve given us enough to quench our thirst for the time being.

#14 Michi

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 03:08 PM

Awesome tour, man!

#15 mn_body_detroit_hrt

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:07 PM

These pics are great, I am SUPER excited to see all the rest. THANKS FOR POSTING THEM!!!

Side note: I havent really ever seen pics from the back...whats going on back there?

#16 mn_body_detroit_hrt

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:10 PM

entry #2:

I had thought this building was nominated in the 70's??? Not that it does much good down there?! (M/L)

Again...thanks for the pics.

#17 MrCoffee

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:51 PM

Maybe this might sound silly, but Detroit used to have commuter rail at one time. It would go back and forth to Ann Arbor. Why can't the Department of Transportation start putting money back into commuter rail that would include Flint, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Jackson? Then, have Michigan Central Station serve as a hub. Develop the upper floors into condominiums or other mixed use, and restore the restaurant to its former glory. The people who live there wouldn't necessarily need their cars to get some place besides downtown and the people mover. Well, it's just a thought but gas is getting expensive, eh?

MrCoffee

#18 dnast

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 05:31 PM

Even though I hate paying these prices, the rise in gas costs might be the biggest help in getting Detroit and the rest of the state to consider rail.

#19 rbdetsport

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 06:28 PM

So are you asking for heavy or light rail?

#20 dnast

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 10:55 PM

Heavy would be nice, but the chances of that are exponential to the chances of getting light rail. Besides, I don't think there would be enough riders initially to warrant that. In 1950, it would've been perfect.