We used to venture into the Michigan Central Station, wander its wave warped wooden floors and climb all 18 floors of the dark musty stairwells to the roof. We would stand and stare at the unobstructed view of our vast city. From downtown to the bridge, The Fisher Building to Windsor, it was our Gotham before us.

photo: Steve Gross

It is one of the most recognized and photographed structures in Detroit. Considered one of the top examples of modern American ruins, the train station’s beauty is as grand in its current state as it was in its prime. It has been a canvas for paint, a site for art installation, a back drop, a set and an icon of Detroit.

[Timeline]

→ 1913 : Began operating while still unfinished after the old station downtown burned.
→ 1975 : Added to the National Register of Historic Places.
→ 1988 : Ceased Operating as a train station.
→ 2009 : Detroit City Council voted to demolish the structure.

[Facts]

→ At time of construction it was the tallest train station in the world.
→ During WWI more than 200 trains left the station daily.
→ In the 1940s 4000 passengers a day used the station and 3000 people occupied the office tower.
→ The station has appeared in several films including Transformers (2006), The Island (2005), Naqoyqati (2002), Four Brothers (2005), 8 Mile (2002) and Detropia (2012).
→ It was designed by Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem in the Beaux-Arts style who also designed Grand Central Station at the same time in New York.
→ It has 5000 square feet, is 230 feet high with 18 floors.
→ It cost $15 million dollars to build.
→ The top floors were never furnished or used.
→ Located in the Corktown Neighborhood of Detroit.

 

#michigancentral icon products