The last thing we did in Detroit was visit the Michigan Central Station, once the world’s tallest train station (according to contributors of Wikipedia). It’s an interesting area, with big lawns and boulevards leading up to it. There are many homeless people hanging around under the broad trees. One of them came over to ask that I don’t take her photo.
Photo of me and the “tourist assistant” by Francesco Villa.
A guy riding his bike came over to talk to us. I asked him if he knew how to get into the train station. He did and showed us where the fence could be easily lifted (someone even tied a rope to the fence) and you could slip under. I gave him a dollar for his help (actually, he asked when I said goodbye).
Thankfully the cool station is on the National Register of Historic Places* making demolition much harder. The problem is getting the right idea and developer married to renovate the station and put it back into productive use.
Amtrak served the station until 1988. I find it odd that Amtrak, or any passenger train, came here in the first place – the station feels far from downtown Detroit. Walking is possible, along Michigan Avenue, but there’s no street activity along the way. I presume that when it was constructed in 1913, the Corktown neighborhood was a bit more hoppin’.
We walked from the train station to the Greyhound station at 1001 Howard Street, a 1.2 mile walk. We stopped for lunch at Great Wall Chinese Food. It was cheap and tasty. Another customer there told us he drives 40 minutes for this restaurant. He also said he worked the light show at the VitaminWater stage at the Movement Festival (formerly Detroit Electronic Music Festival) we spent the previous two days dancing at.
Someone has placed letters at the top of the building saying, SAVE THE DEPOT.
Detroit has so much space. What should we do with all of that room?
*The National Register website doesn’t have permalinks (stupid). So search here for reference number “75000969” or name, “Penn Central Station”. I don’t know why the NHRP calls it Penn Central Station.