In The Building


There are two wings of offices on either side of the concourse. I entered from the east wing through a tunnel meant for use by passengers leaving with tickets to board their trains or arriving from their journeys.  The steel rails have all been pulled up and removed but the boarding platforms still exist.  Tall weeds and saplings that have grown through the cracks create a beautiful screen through which one sees shacks built by the homeless and torched stolen cars.

The grand concourse is three stories high and is littered with pieces of steel and tile that have fallen from the ceiling.  An enormous clanking and scratching can be heard as well as mysterious sounds similar to foot steps.  The fresh dog tracks in hallways and down jackets in some rooms add to the trepidation. The Graffiti is intense with hatred.

At the other end of the tunnel there is an entrance to the main ticketing area and a stairwell. One can take the stairs down to a lower level, though not under ground, or up to a kind of control room and a corridor that runs the width of the building.  Down that corridor there are offices on the side toward the outer wall with windows, and on the other side a view looking down onto the concourse through some once beautiful, large arches.  The corridor turns and through it one reaches elevator shafts and, in the other wing, a staircase to the upper floors.

Beginning above the concourse, the floors are laid out so that the corridors meet at elevators and staircases. There are offices on both sides of each corridor and all have doors that join their adjacent offices.  Though one can find an occasional desk or chair, most of the paneling and electrical outlets are gone. Bathrooms are at diagonal corners of each floor.  As with the rest of the building, all fixtures and detailing have either been destroyed or removed. Above the sixth floor the rooms are unfinished, having never been occupied.

The future doesnít look bright for the Michigan Central Train Station. The money necessary to properly restore the building does not appear to be in the offing. The station and land surrounding it is privately owned and that owner evidently has no interest in itís historical significance or potential contribution to the community. The Canadian Pacific Railroad presently rents part of the property as a temporary intermodel freight facility. Because of the obvious safety threat and instability the building adds to the area, eventual demolition is likely.
 
 

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