Council vote to demolish Michigan Central



2008. Photo


1973. Photo

Detroit City Council voted on April 7, 2009 to demolish Michigan Central Station, passing a resolution calling for ‘expedited demolition’. The building has been on the USA National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

Opened in 1913, the building is of the Beaux-Arts Classical style of architecture, designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem who also designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. The cost was $15 million.

The main waiting room on the main floor was modelled after an ancient Roman bathhouse with walls of marble. The building also housed a large hall adorned with Doric columns and contained the ticket office and arcade of shops. Beyond the arcade was the concourse, which had brick walls and a large copper skylight. From here, passengers walked down a ramp to the 11 platforms.

There is a wonderful photo essay about Michigan Central Station on which is well worth exploring.

It was the fall of 1973, just six years after the fifteen-floor office tower and the main “grand” lobby of the Michigan Central Depot closed. Photographer and student Keith Jolly was permitted to document, in intimate detail, what may be the saddest chapter in Detroit’s history of neglecting historic architecture. Through the lens of this photographic artist, one can appreciate the remarkable feelings of grandeur and luxury the Michigan Central Station conveyed to arriving and departing passengers. Also captured in these prints the eerie sense of impending neglect and subsequent ruin that would become the Depot’s lasting image.

There is a comprehensive history of the building on Wikipedia.

Obama’s ‘stimulus package’ was supposed to put new life into the USA’s railroads, but it seems that the Mayor has different ideas.

More information here:

You can write to the Mayor of Detroit at:

Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr.
Mayor, City of Detroit
Executive Office
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
2 Woodward Ave., Ste. 1126
Detroit, MI 48226

or contact him by e-mail, or phone his office:

+1 (313) 224-3400

One Response to “Council vote to demolish Michigan Central”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    Is he Polish? Some of his relatives seem to be Mayors over there as well!

    He needs to take a trip to New York and see what they have done with Grand Central terminal – it is fantastic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s