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mn_body_detroit_hrt

Train Station

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Funny you mention it, I'm going to put a fairly large three part photo tour of MCS up tonight.

I really don't know of any proposals in the works right now except an International Trading Center which seems like the best option since it would fit the buldings design most effectively. Renovation costs of that building range greatly. It depends on how much the developer would like preserve. Most of the interior marble paneling has been smashed, so if a developer would like to put new marble paneling in on the interior, he or she would have to put forth a lot of money. Kwame thought he could renovate the place for 90 million which seems way too small for a building that size. The correct price tag is estimated to be somewhere between 300-400 million.

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So, does the city own the building right now or is is priv. owner? How long has it been closed? How structurally sound is it? When I drove by it last you could see right through the bld. and it seems like lots of people have been in and out of there, I would imagine that has taken its toll....

looking forward to the post (photos) are they inside and out?

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The train station is owned by the company that owns the Ambassador Bridge. It closed in January 1988. Structurally the building is fine, but it needs a lot of work.

The reason you can see right through it is that floors 7 through 18 were never completed or occupied. The building is frequented by urban explorers. It used to be inhabited by bums, but I have not seen any in my trips there. Most of them choose to live in buildings that aren't so high profile.

I have been to MCS three times, most recently with Wolverine on Tuesday. I didn't take many interior shots then, but I have hundreds from my previous two trips. I may post some later.

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Currently, the building is under private ownership. Someone goes in there once and while and cleans up the floors a bit. Most of the visible damage appears to be due to vandalism which is very upsetting. On all the floors, the marble paneling was smashed to pieces and laying on the floor. It's amazing how some people don't give a damn about how beautiful the place looks. The weather has also done some major damage. The entablatures beneath the thermal windows are pretty much gone now. If you go to detroit.com, they are still intact. Suprisngly, the building wasn't tagged as much as I thought. I think that is because the weather has washed a lot of it away. This goes to show how long the place has sat vacant. Someone really needs to act on the place now

99% of the photos were taken from the inside. I would be lying if I said we asked permission to get in. All I did was take pictures, nothing more to worry about except my personal safety.

EDIT: Looks like Allan beat me. Special thanks to him also for showing me around the place.

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looking forward to any pictures that go up...it's a beautiful bld...

there arent plans to take it down in the near future are there?

BTW...thanks for humoring me on this, I'm sure it is an old topic so it's nice, as an out-of-towner, to be able to get the scoop.

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That's okay, even if there are any old threads on the station they're probably hard to find and outdated. Feel free to post any questions if you have them.

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MCS was designed by Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem, the same architects who designed Grand Central Station. The station opened early after the old train station burned on December 27, 1913. By placing the station far away from downtown, the thought was that it would cause downtown to expand westward and revitalize the surrounding neighborhoods. However, this never happened. Most passengers took the streetcar to the station, although a small underground parking garage was included. The removal of the streetcar lines was the death blow to the station.

By 1963, passenger traffic had declined considerably, and an attempt was made to sell the station. There were no takers. The main waiting room and park entrance were closed, and the deterioration began.

In 1971 Amtrak took over passenger train service in the US. The waiting room was reopened in 1975 and in 1978 $1.25 million in renovations began. However, it was not enough to save the station. The building was sold in 1984 for a transportation center that was never constructed. The traffic had declined so much by 1987 that the decision was made to close the station. The last train rolled out of the station on January 5, 1988, and the building's decay began.

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I just realized that is kinda personal info, and I have no idea how you guys operate on that level...sorry about that...

anyways...great to hear about this stuff...

I'm pretty sure I am going to be in town again in about two weeks, last visit there I was told that it is super sketchy around there and to steer clear, and that was by a downtown dweller, but I'll take it with a grain of salt and ask again....

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Funny you mention it, I'm going to put a fairly large three part photo tour of MCS up tonight.

I really don't know of any proposals in the works right now except an International Trading Center which seems like the best option since it would fit the buldings design most effectively.  Renovation costs of that building range greatly.  It depends on how much the developer would like preserve.  Most of the interior marble paneling has been smashed, so if a developer would like to put new marble paneling in on the interior, he or she would have to put forth a lot of money.  Kwame thought he could renovate the place for 90 million which seems way too small for a building that size.  The correct price tag is estimated to be somewhere between 300-400 million.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Do you know where I can see the proposal for the International Trading Center?

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Thanks Allan, must say I am very impressed with your history knowledge, are you a tour guide for P/W?  Arch history student?  It's great, thanks again...

...wanna tell me about Lee plaza too :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I am a PW tour guide, architecture student, and urban explorer. If you ever take the downtown tour on Saturday mornings you'll likely see me and/or Baldy, who is also a tour guide. The next time I am giving the tour is on June 4th.

As for the history of Lee Plaza, that can be found here:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...ndpost&p=114861

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What has become of the Mayor's plan to renovate the station and convert it into the new police headquarters? Is this pipe dream officially dead?

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KK spent the city's downpayment on a Red Navigator, credit card expenses, clubbing, security detail, ect...... So yeah, it's a pipe dream.

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So the cities downpayment is roughly a couple hundred thousand? Nah the thing wont happen but it wont be because of the Navigator situation. You cant blame the mispending of 300,000 dollars on why a 300 million dollar project was not started. It was due to lack of interest and lack of funding in general.

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sorry, the [sarcasm] didn't work right. But there is some truth in that the city can't afford to be wasting money the way it is under the current administration. $25,000 here, $300,000 there, it's a lot of money that could be put to better use. Speaking of the navigator, the city is still paying the lease on it.

I'll give the serious response. Currently the city does not have the finances to purchase, renovate and move the police headquarters to the train station. Unfortunately, the existing police HQ is in not only too small, but the building is in rough shape and is desparte need of work, so I wouldn't really say there is a lack of interest. The city is going to have to do something soon and I'm really surprised we haven't heard more about this.

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Alan said that traffic declining caused the station's close.

That is not the case. The amount of traffic from the 3 round trip trains a day was not enough to support such a large structure. Amtrak moved because they were the only ones left.

By moving to New Center, they were able to quickly and easily connect the trains north to Pontiac. This is not easy from MCS.

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sorry, the [sarcasm] didn't work right.  But there is some truth in that the city can't afford to be wasting money the way it is under the current administration.  $25,000 here, $300,000 there, it's a lot of money that could be put to better use.  Speaking of the navigator, the city is still paying the lease on it.

I'll give the serious response.  Currently the city does not have the finances to purchase, renovate and move the police headquarters to the train station.  Unfortunately, the existing police HQ is in not only too small, but the building is in rough shape and is desparte need of work, so I wouldn't really say there is a lack of interest.  The city is going to have to do something soon and I'm really surprised we haven't heard more about this.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Give me time ill pick up on your personality.

There is an interest in a new facility but i dont think interest in making that facility the trainstation. The current building is a mess and the state told them they have to make improvements to it so that means money from a possible MCD renovation will be going to the current building.

I totally agree though about Kwames spending. It does add up and he has no business being the mayor.

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Mayor wants old depot for new police station

Michigan Central Depot

Developer sees Detroit depot as customs center

Here's a few links to articles about the depot. As the last one states "no plan has been completed" and I don't think there ever was. It was just another one of those flights of fancy the local media likes to report on from time to time.

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I have the first of four batches of photos uploaded to the server. Expect the first part of the tour to be posted tonight at 9:00 pm or earlier. I have to work late tonight :(

EDIT: Scratch that, going to see a movie tonight, more like 11:30 -12:00

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