The recent sound of construction work coming from inside Michigan Central Station has piqued the interest of many a passersby lately. Today, information coming from city hall indicates that what was once the tallest train station in the world is going to be redeveloped. Details of that redevelopment are still unknown.
Manuel “Matty” Moroun, owner of Michigan Central Station, has pulled permits for $676,000 (or 0.045% of his $1.5 billion fortune) in construction work at the historic train station. According to HistoricDetroit.org, a nonprofit devoted to Detroit’s historic landmarks, “a 9,000-pound capacity freight elevator inside the old smokestack mechanical shaft and safety improvements such as railings on interior staircases” will be installed.
According to reports, JC Beal Construction, Inc. has been hired as general contractor and Quinn Evan Architects as the architectural firm. It is said that the 9,000-pound elevator will be used to hasten the installation of windows throughout the building.
Michigan Central Station opened in 1913 as the city’s main rail depot. 18 stories of offices sit atop a Beaux-Arts lobby. The station, closed in 1988, has been open to the elements for years and became blighted as scrappers stripped the building of many of its architectural treasures.
Several plans to redevelop the depot have come and gone since its closure. In 2004, then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced plans to redevelop the train station as the city’s police headquarters. Those plans were eventually abandoned. In 2009, the Detroit City Council voted to demolish Michigan Central Station. That plan fell apart due to a lack of funding as well as difficulties stemming from the station’s National Register of Historic Places designation.