Michigan Central Station

IMG_0081(Detroit, Michigan) My friend Jay Samuelsson promised me a tour of Detroit after we watched the Tigers beat the Red Sox 10-5 on Sunday, and so we were soon motoring around the Motor City.  “What do you want to see?” Jay asked.  “The old train station,” I replied. And so Jay drove us over to the magnificent Michigan Central Station, which figured prominently in the 2012 documentary, Detropia.  In that most worthy of films, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady examined the decline of Detroit and the stalwart residents who have remained in the once-thriving city.  A seminal moment in the film occurs when a pair of artists poke around the cavernous ruins of the Beaux-Arts structure that was formally dedicated on January 4, 1914 and remained open for business until the cessation of Amtrak service on January 6, 1988.  Natalie and I were among those Amtrak passengers who passed through Michigan Central Station in its declining years as we took a train from Chicago to Toledo by way of Detroit.  We remember the conductor distinctly warning us not to “detrain in Detroit.”  He said the old Michigan Central Station wasn’t what it used to be.  Well, when Jay and I wheeled up for a closer look on August 21, 2016, we were happy to see the fruits of various restoration projects.  According to Wikipedia, there have been demolition works, minor structural repairs, repairs of the roof structure, and covering the glass roof openings in the concourse. The basement, which was once full of water, has been fully drained, and a barbed wire fence has been installed in an attempt to keep out vandals.  “What do you think?” Jay asked.  I gazed upon the once shining gem of Detroit and spoke for many a Michigander when I said: “I bet it’s going to come back to life.”  It should, because Detroit is coming back to life, and because the station was added to the National  Register of Historic Places in 1975.  Happy days are here again in Detroit, and Michigan Central Station, aka: Michigan Central Depot, deserves to be part of that happy destiny.



About charleymckelvy

Charles McKelvy lives and writes in southwest Michigan with his wife and fellow writer, Natalie McKelvy. They established the Dunery Press in 1988 in order to publish their own fiction. They continue to do so to this day. Charles McKelvy is an Eagle Scout.
This entry was posted in Amtrak, Detroit and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Michigan Central Station

  1. claywatkins says:

    Thanks – great post. Full of optimism and promise.

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