• MICHIGAN CENTRAL STATION, Detroit, Michigan (former NYCRR)

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by DonPevsner
I recall reading last year that the Detroit Police Department had
bought MCS, and planned to make it the City of Detroit Police HQ.
Any updates on this continuing saga? As many of you know, the
last two remaining giant, historic stations that have fallen totally into
disrepair are MCS and Buffalo Central Terminal, NY State.

  by NJTRailfan
I hope to get an answer myself. I heard that the project for MCS was killed off. Hopefuly it's not true or if it is something more effective in terms of 100% restoration is in full works

  by AmtrakFan
Well they have a ton of work to do when I saw it this summer it look like a bomb went off in it.


  by va3ori
The plan fell through, not surprisingly, because of the poor material condition of the building and the fact that the neighbourhood is so unsafe, even the police didn't like going there! That, and the fact that the city of Detroit doesn't have the money to do the job.

It's a pity because it was a really attractive building in its day. I was last there in 1978 by which time it was already an almost abandoned hulk, though a majestic one. It would be nice if a group came forward to renovate the building but that looks like a pipe dream. A group in has been very active in the restoration efforts at Buffalo Central Terminal so perhaps there is something to be learned. Time will tell.

va3ori - va3xw

  by 4 Express
You know what, this is weird, I'm actually on vacation in Detroit right now until the 27th & I wanted to check out that station to take pics, but when I went last Saturday night, I hardly got a view because the Detroit Police were there, along with the media, I'll see if I can try again next week, I hope they didn't mess with it a lot, but maybe it will stand & I could take some pics before I leave.
Last edited by 4 Express on Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by 4 Express
I got a new digital camera today & I'm planning on taking some pics tomorrow, by the way, before I do this, I want to know if I'm allowed to go in Michigan Central boundary legally.

  by 4 Express
Ok, I figured out that you aren't allowed to go in but I did take some pics of Michigan Central, along with other things in downtown Detroit & I will post them up here as soon as I get back to New York.

  by KevinSinclair
Does anyone know if there has been any progress at the Terminal and what the current situation is (July 2006) ?

  by hoborich
Detroit has no money for anything. They've closed several more fire companies, and closed several police stations. Vacant and abandoned homes and buildings pay no taxes.
I was born and raised in Detroit. I was a firefighter in Detroit during the 1967 riots. I have seen a lot of grandiose plans come and go over the years, but few have ever been completed. Sorry to be so negative. Just telling it like it is.
I used to go down to the MC depot, to the REA office, to pick up bees in the spring. They used to ship bees and other things in the express cars. I can recall seeing crates of baby chicks, crickets, and all kinds of stuff in the REA office.
I used to go down to the MC depot, to watch trains. I also went to the Fort Street Union Depot to train watch.
I hope they can save the MC depot, but it is pretty far gone, and Detroit has a poor track record when it comes to saving historic buildings. The downtown Hudsons building could have been saved. But it was a constant reminder of what Detroit once was, and never will be again. So it had to go.
The Monroe block of historic buildings could have been saved, but wasn't.
Well intentioned investors, and developers find it extremely difficult to get anything done in Detroit. They get shuffled from one office to another. They get hung up on, or their calls are not returned.
Oooops. Sorry bout the rant.

  by KevinSinclair
Thanks for the interesting post. It's sad to hear that Detroit is suffering overall as well as the depot. It seems strange to me that a city can find it hard to redevelop its old buildings, here in the UK every square inch of land is in demand in cities. Whether the building is saved or not depends on the city protecting it. So long as its protected, a developer will still want it and have to work around that in their plans! Having said that, its often the case that councils will simply allow historic buildings to be pulled down if the developer wants it. I think England may not be so much like that but you can do what you like here in scotland :(

Sorry to get off topic, did the station have many passenger trains on a typical day. What places did they go?

  by Pete
Amusingly, the opening montage to Game 2 of the World Series featured a brief moment where video of Eminem performing was superimposed on an hulking image of the abandoned Michigan Central Station. If I was from Detroit, I might take exception at their chioce of symbols.