not all those who wander are lost

Michigan Central Station.

C19 style Beaux Art design.
Architects: Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore with Reed and Sern.
Erected in 1913.

The architects are famous for designing one of the sister stations to MCS, Grand Central Station in New York City.
Grand Central Station was rescued from similar abandonment by Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She single handedly led the renovation drive, and even located original architectural drawings for details that had never been finished. Mrs. Onassis made sure these details were realized in the renovated Grand Central, which today is one of NYCs crown jewels.

Inside we see what is left of the grand waiting room. This was closed for storage in 1967, and its Indian mahogany benches were sold for about $25.00 USD.

The vaulted ceiling reaches a height of 54.5 feet,

The walls and 21 foot tall Doric columns are made of Kasota marble.

These worn out frescos were added as a strange art installation piece in 1995 called “the Cathedral of Time”.

Thin tiles and dense mortar are used to create the Guastavino vaulted arches – named after the Catalan engineer that invented the technique.

Ticket counters

The is the Grand Concourse, the place where people boarded and departed the trains.

Yellow brick laid in Flemish bond, framed with terracotta.

The amazing dining room, with a vaulted ceiling of caen stone and a floor of Welsh quarry tile.

The gorgeous ceiling was defaced just after World War 2, when they partitioned a section of the dining room to create an upstairs kitchen. The kitchen on the main floor required dropped asbestos ceiling per the fire codes. At this time the dining room was named The Mercury Room.

Lets head up into the office tower…..

Upper office floors. The fact is, that the upper 5 floors were never finished nor utilized. So it gets pretty barren when you get toward the top.

The Ambassador Bridge. An ironic view, as the abandoned MCS and the Ambassador have the same owner.

A view of Downtown Detroit from high above Corktown.

The smoke stack on the roof..

Roosevelt Park, looking out towards New Center in the distance.

Ariel view of the MCS shows how prominent it is in the Corktown neighborhood.

Will she be saved ? Im thinking not. I would love to be wrong on this one, but the resources required to rehab this massive structure must be prohibitive in todays monetary terms. People just do not aspire to this type of greatness in our current society.

It is really disheartening to gaze upon a symbol of how great we used to be.

data from: “Images of America- Detroit’s Michigan Central Station by Kelli B. Kavanaugh” and “AIA Detroit – The American institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture”

9 Responses to M. C. S.