Designed by the same architect that built New York’s Central Station, Michigan Central Station was created as a monument to Detroit’s bustling travel culture. Built in 1913 it was located a few miles from the city center – it was assumed that urban sprawl would eventually fill up the empty space. Local trains connected the bustling station to downtown Detroit.
At one point there were over 200 trains departing from Michigan Central Station every day. But with no parking facilities and the loss of local train access, popularity dwindled during the Great Depression and World Wars. After attempting to sell the station for $5 million in 1956 (one third of the $15 million building cost in 1913) and then another attempt in 1963, the maintenance price became too high and the building was officially abandoned in 1967.
Coinciding with the economic downfall of the car manufacturing boom in Detroit, Michigan Central Station has sat as a massive reminder of the infamous city’s hard times. Although there is constant interest in revitalizing the gorgeous building, its current state of disrepair is seemingly insurmountable. If you wish to visit the building its exterior is easily accessible, but the interior is strictly off-limits to visitors.
Michigan Station in its Prime: