On Tuesday the Detroit City Council passed a resolution for expedited demolition of Michigan Central Station alias Michigan Central Depot alias MCS alias Detroit’s largest ruin.
David Kohrman’s Forgotten Detroit has tons of historical photos and a detailed history of Michigan Central Depot that begins:
When the old Michigan Central Depot burned on December 26, 1913 the still unfinished structure off of Michigan Ave. was called into service. Designed by noted hotel architects Warren & Wetmore and engineers Reed and Stem, the MCS was an exceptionally beautiful building. The style of choice was beaux-arts neoclassical. Flanking massive arched windows were pairs of Corinthian columns, a hallmark of the style. Inside the rooms were modeled after an ancient Roman bathhouse, particularly the massive main waiting room. With an impressive vaulted ceiling this room was the most imposing in the building.
All Aboard: A Retrospective of the M.C.S. is a fantastic look at Michigan Central Station as it was in 1973 and as it is now. Be sure to check this one out.
Michigan Central Station on Wikipedia notes that the building was designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem firms who also designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal.
Here’s the Michigan Central Station slideshow on Flickr. In Exposure Detroit, many of the photographers whose work is featured in that slideshow are discussing the city council’s vote and how to save MCS and the Save Michigan Central Station Group.
UPDATE (April 14): Heather Pennington has cool post titled Save Michigan Central Station in which she has some photos and eloquently wonders:
There is much debate on what should be done with this amazing structure. What cannot be debated is the fact that there are countless other structures that are “dangerous, open to the elements, and open to trespassers”. There are so many houses, and former businesses that are abandoned and burned that should be torn down for the safey of the city. The Detroit Fire Department lost one of its own last year when Walter Harris died after the roof of a charred vacant house collapsed on him (read article from Fire Rescue 1 here). Why???
Wouldn’t it cost less than $3.6M (that the city does not have) to demolish vacant and burned homes?
Let’s take some time to clean up the rest of the city; make it safe for all that live, work, and play here. And in the meantime, let’s try to find a reasonable fate for Michigan Central Station.