Detroit’s Michigan Central Station Is Restored to Its Original Glory


In December 1913, less than a year after Grand Central Terminal opened in Manhattan, Detroit debuted its own transportation hub: Michigan Central Station, a neoclassical marvel that welcomed 4,000 daily train passengers at its peak. Both shared Beaux Arts bones and architects, the firms of Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem, but they would not share the same journey. Time was unkind to Michigan Central, which closed in 1988 and fell into disrepair. “It became a symbol of the rise and fall of Detroit,” notes Bill Ford Jr., who set about restoring the white elephant after Ford Motor Company bought it in 2018. “Now it shows Detroit’s resilience.” With the help of more than 3,000 artisans, the edifice has been returned to its former glory, reborn as the centerpiece to a tech and cultural hub. In the Grand Hall, miles of new grout secure 29,000 Guastavino ceiling tiles, while in the south concourse a glass roof now protects original brickwork (miraculously intact despite flooding). All throughout Michigan Central Station, stonework has been refreshed or replaced, lighting faithfully reproduced, and period details revived thanks to some 1.7 million hours of work. “They poured their memories and love for Detroit into this project,” Ford notes of the team, adding that the blockbuster project will “shape the future of the Motor City.” michigancentral.com

Image may contain Indoors and Floor

The Grand Hall (originally the waiting room) prior to its restoration.

Photo: Jason Keen

Image may contain Architecture Building Housing Arch Gothic Arch House Car Transportation and Vehicle

Michigan Central Station from the outside prior to its restoration.

Photo: Jason Keen

Image may contain Architecture Building Office Building City Grass Plant Bench Furniture Urban and Car

Designed by the architecture firms Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem in 1913, Detroit’s Michigan Central station spans a three-story train depot and a 15-story office tower above it for a total of 640,000 square feet. Unveiled in June, its restoration was overseen by  Quinn Evans.

Photo: Jason Keen

Image may contain Architecture Building Warehouse Hangar and Factory

The South Concourse prior to its restoration.

Photo: Jason Keen

Image may contain Floor Window Architecture Building Skylight Indoors Lamp and Flooring

A new glass roof now crowns The south Concourse, which would have led to the tracks during the station’s heyday. The original roof and historic lay-light had been destroyed, exposing the original brickwork to water damage.

Photo: Jason Keen

The ticket lobby prior to its restoration.

The ticket lobby prior to its restoration.

Photo: Jason Keen

Image may contain Floor Flooring Indoors Interior Design Ballroom Room Lamp and Chandelier

The transformation of the former ticket lobby required the meticulous re-creation of the original clock based on archival photographs and surviving bits of the frame.

Photo: Jason Keen

Image may contain Floor Indoors Interior Design Flooring Lamp Ballroom and Room

Another view of the restored Grand Hall.

Photo: Jason Keen



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top