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Old March 6th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #1
wrabbit
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Detroit's Central Station: Seeking a Future for a Symbol of a Grander Past

The New York Times
March 5, 2010
Seeking a Future for a Symbol of a Grander Past
By SUSAN SAULNY

(Detroit).....Michigan Central is in a class of its own. Some city officials consider it among the ugliest behemoths to pockmark Detroit and have ordered its demolition, but others see it as the industrial age’s most gracious relic, a Beaux Arts gem turned gothic from neglect but steeped in haunting beauty.

Now Detroit has become embroiled in an urgent debate over how to save what is perhaps its most iconic ruin — and in the process, some insist, give the demoralized city a much needed boost.

“People compare it to Roman ruins,” said Karen Nagher, the executive director of Preservation Wayne, an organization that seeks to protect architecture and neighborhoods around Detroit. “Some people just want it left alone. But I’d love to see that building with windows in and lights on again.”

Since the City Council voted last year to demolish the depot, the building has been granted a reprieve of sorts thanks to more urgent issues confronting the city, including a $400 million budget deficit and a lawsuit to halt the tear down (citing the station’s historic landmark status). Further, several council members, elected since the vote, do not share the previous Council’s enthusiasm for land clearing.....

Read full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/us...gewanted=print

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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #2
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I hope it can be saved!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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Sorry, I have been thinking about this, and all restoration and saving efforts have felt. We are left with no other choice byt to demolish the station and let it rest in peace. Michigan Central is like a tired old warhorse who needs to be put down. Imyself don't even want it saved, despite its historic landmark status. If the station is gone, space is opened up in the area bounded by Michigan Avenue, Interstate 75, 12th Street, and Bagley Street to create a brand new street grid.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
If the station is gone, space is opened up in the area bounded by Michigan Avenue, Interstate 75, 12th Street, and Bagley Street to create yet another vacant lot.
Fixed that for you.

No, seriously, demolishing the station is the worst thing they could possibly do. Even if they went and made a new street grid, there's still a railyard there which can't go away because Canadian National still uses it.

Best thing to do is to mothball the structure properly so that it can be reused as a train station when Detroit becomes a livable place again. (instead of letting it rot like it is now.)
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Old March 15th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #5
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How about we just buy it from Canadian National and then get rid of it altogether or we'll just bury it underground and use it as part of a new rail transit system? The latte option will never work.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 03:03 AM   #6
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Sure, let's demolish it! That's just what Detroit needs, more demolished buildings.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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In European cities, nobody would even dare to mention the destruction of such a historical, iconic building...

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Old March 15th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #8
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^

Correct. There wouldnt even be a debate on its future. It would be listed. Funding would be given from some sort of preservation society and the building restored. I guess America and Europe have very different values when it comes to preservation.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #9
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^ Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabbit View Post
City Council voted last year to demolish the depot
What depot? Would that be part of the actual highrise?
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Old March 17th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donoteat View Post
...it can be reused as a train station when Detroit becomes a livable place again. (instead of letting it rot like it is now.)
When and how is that going to happen?



Anyhow
You are welcome to move it down to Miami. Put some white paint on it and use it as a cool hotel.
But seriously, buildings can be moved.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #11
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I don't know if a large building can be moved from place to place. It is on the national Register of Historic Places, but the station is decaying so fast that it is in severe disrepair and we are left with no choice other than demolition. That station is like Terri Schiavo.

To Benonie's post: Only if that historic building is well-maintained. Michigan Central is not well maintained.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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In European cities, nobody would even dare to mention the destruction of such a historical, iconic building...

In European cities I doubt such a building would even have been abandoned.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
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we are left with no choice other than demolition.
You've got to be kidding, right? That's ridiculous.
I could show you hundreds of buildings in Germany that were left in ruins but still were saved / reconstructed. Disrepair can't be an excuse here, it almost looks fine and stable.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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Its amazing I would just love to get inside and have a good look around...
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:21 AM   #15
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It's a beautiful and unique structure. The large swaths of poor quality and now derelict semi-suburban working class housing in Detroit is toast. No big loss architecturally speaking. Tear it all down and turn those areas into parks or allow them to return to nature. If the city ever grows again, these areas can be redeveloped.

But if the city of Detroit demolishes this station and their other vacant historic highrises - the big, important structures that proclaim, "This is (was) an important city!", all hope is lost for any return to the glory days.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:29 AM   #16
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What a shame, I love that building.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 08:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick4u1 View Post
Its amazing I would just love to get inside and have a good look around...
There's probably pictures on the internet of the interior but, yes, being there would be something special. I stumbled across the following music video a little while ago, featured includes Detroit's Michigan Central Station and Tiger Stadium:

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
Sorry, I have been thinking about this, and all restoration and saving efforts have felt. We are left with no other choice byt to demolish the station and let it rest in peace. Michigan Central is like a tired old warhorse who needs to be put down. Imyself don't even want it saved, despite its historic landmark status. If the station is gone, space is opened up in the area bounded by Michigan Avenue, Interstate 75, 12th Street, and Bagley Street to create a brand new street grid.
Yeah, we'll see that about the same time we see the second coming of Christ! And when that happens, the best you're going to get is a strip mall, parking lot or fast food joints.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:58 PM   #19
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^ That's indeed the most ridiculous suggestion of this thread.
There always is a way to save your historical landmarks, all you need is will - and money.
I'm sure there's more than enough money for Michigan Central, just missing the will.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:08 PM   #20
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The station has fallen into too severe disrepair because of its long vacancy, it can't survive into the next decade. Even if there is will, the station is gonna flatline, and it will HAVE to pass away peacefully, sorry, but this is like the station is in hospice care. And the building may be in danger of collapse and any restoration will be an extremely difficult job.

Terri Schiavo case.
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Last edited by Jim856796; March 22nd, 2010 at 06:18 PM.
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