Michigan Central Station To Be Demolished With Stimulus Money

michigan central station lobby photo

Creative Commons: Shane Gorski

Anyone who cares about architecture should be just sick about what is going on in Detroit: The mayor wants an "emergency demolition" of one of the city's greatest buildings, the Michigan Central Station, designed by the same firms that built Grand Central Station in New York. To add insult to this extreme injury, they want to use $3.6 million in Stimulus funds to do it. Stimulus funds that could put thousands to work restoring the building, instead of calling it a "dangerous building, open to the elements and open to trespassers."

michigan central station exterior photo

Exterior of Michigan Central Station, Wikipedia

We go on about Van Jones and the power of the caulking gun to put people to work; imagine how much caulk this building could use, how many people could be put to work fixing it.

michigan central station  photo

Creative Commons: Shane Gorski

No matter that it has been in the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

michigan central station photo

Creative Commons: Shane Gorski

Or that it has terrific bones and if properly secured could stand for another twenty years until someone did something with it.

michigan central station interior photo

Creative Commons: Shane Gorski

What a scandal that money that is supposed to be spent to put people to work, that could have been used to create the greenest of jobs in building restoration and upgrading, would be misused to hide the embarrassment of Detroit, that such a gem could be left to deteriorate to such a state.


Click on the picture to watch a local news story about the demolition, starting with calling it "Detroit's biggest eyesore."

Watch a sequence from Godfrey Reggio’s film Naqoyqatsi with music by Philip Glass, played by Yo-Yo Ma, starting about 1:10 into the clip.

We write so much about Detroit and about its future, but this is such a symbol of which way it is going to go.

thanks to the Infrastructurist for the tipoff.

More on renovation and restoration:
In Hard Times It's Time For Renovation and Preservation
The Greenest Brick is the One That's Already in the Wall
Big Steps in Building: Ban Demolition
Refab Now!

More on Detroit:
Architecture for 99¢ a Minute
School's Out Forever in Detroit
The Move to Detroit for the $100 House
Time to Move to Detroit?
Detroit Charity Turns Wasteland into Farms

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