Michigan Central Station (also known as Michigan Central Depot or MCS), built in 1913 for the Michigan Central Railroad, was Detroit, Michigan's, passenger rail depot from its opening in 1913, when the previous Michigan Central Station burned, until the last Amtrak train pulled away from the station on January 6, 1988.
The unfinished building began operating as Detroit's main passenger depot in 1913 after the older Michigan Central Station burned on December 26, 1913. The growing trend toward increased automobile use was not a large concern in 1913, as is evidenced in the design of the building. Most passengers would arrive at and leave from Michigan Central Station by interurban service or streetcar and not as pedestrians due to the station's remote distance from downtown Detroit. The reason for the placement this far from downtown was a hope that the station would be an anchor for prosperity to follow.
Initially, things were looking up as Henry Ford began to buy land near the station in the 1920s and plans were made, but the Great Depression and other circumstances squelched the development efforts. Further compounding MCS's future problems was the fact that no large parking facility was included in the original design of the facility. So when the interurban service was discontinued not even two decades after MCS opened and streetcar service following in 1938, MCS was effectively isolated from a large majority of the population.
However, even with fewer means to get to and from the station, passenger volume did not decrease immediately. During World War II, the station saw heavy military use, but once the war ended, passenger volume began to decline. Service was cut back and passenger traffic became so low that the owners of the station attempted to sell the facility in 1956 for $5 million, one-third of its original building cost in 1913.
The main waiting room and entrance were reopened in 1975 and a $1.25 million renovation projects was begun in 1978. Only 6 years later, the building was sold for a transportation center project that never materialized. Then, on January 6, 1988, the last Amtrak train pulled away from the station after it was decided to close the facility.
coordinates : 42°19'44.44"N 83°04'40.26"W
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