Home > Quick Thoughts, Urban Planning > Michigan Central Station–Holey Moley.

Michigan Central Station–Holey Moley.

How absolutely breathtaking is just seeing this picture? Amazing how it has come to this.

The boys at OCP sound like they’ve got a level eye to knock this Beaux-ty down, but there is some hope: “Among the recent proposals have been to turn the cavernous brick, steel and stone facade into an extreme sports castle; a casino; a hotel and office park; a fish hatchery and aquarium; an amphitheater; or a railway station again, with high-speed trains.Or just clean and secure it, and leave it the way it is as an attraction for tourists.”

A fish hatchery and aquarium? In there? Am I missing something really brilliant? The last two ideas don’t seem half bad to me, but both are a little improbable. High-speed rail to Detroit is probably ten years away in a best case scenario, and while I would definitely make it high on my list of places to visit if I was in the Detroit area, I wouldn’t make a trip to Detroit especially to see it in the same way I might go to the Breakers in Newport, and we know how much those gilded age glories cost to maintain.

Still, there are many options far worse than doing what they did at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly. The Halloween events and tours they do there are just awesome. It’s probably best to just hold on tight until things either consolidate and stabilize, or if it falls apart completely, what difference will it make?

Anyways, the story of the building goes along the same tragic lines as Angkor Wat: “As it is, Michigan Central Station, with its 18-story office tower, has been picked to the bare bones by scavengers, who over the years have made off with a treasure-trove of chandeliers and mahogany and marble ornaments.”

Just to harp on an earlier post, we need to figure out what to do about the future of closed post offices to avoid outcomes like this one.

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  1. March 6, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Yes, a beautiful building. And let’s face it, they just aren’t building them like this anymore. All the more reason to save these treasures and find ways to re-use them. Thanks for posting it.

    “As it is, Michigan Central Station, with its 18-story office tower, has been picked to the bare bones by scavengers, who over the years have made off with a treasure-trove of chandeliers and mahogany and marble ornaments.”

    It’s quite unfortunate that much of the building’s interior has been stripped down and hauled away. 😦

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