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Knocking Down Detroit Central Station

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by Wolf, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    Anyone from Detroit know this old POS building? I hear it is so far gone, and a huge blight on the city there. They are trying to bring it down, but the tree huggers keep getting in the way. This is so out of control. Anyone know what the real story is keeping this POS from getting demo'ed?


    ______________________________________________________________

    March 5, 2010
    Seeking a Future for a Symbol of a Grander Past
    By SUSAN SAULNY
    DETROIT — The last train pulled away more than 20 years ago from Michigan Central Station, one of thousands of “see-through” buildings here, empty shells from more auspicious times.

    Many of the blighted buildings stay up simply because they are too expensive to tear down. Yet 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.

    “I don’t want to bulldoze it, then find out later there could have been a viable use for it,” said Charles Pugh, a newly elected member who took over as Council president in January.

    Now preservationists, business owners, state leaders and community activists are taking what feels like a last stab at saving the 97-year-old building before it goes the way of New York’s Pennsylvania Station or, more locally, Tiger Stadium and countless other pieces of old Detroit that have fallen to the wrecking ball in recent years.

    Among the recent proposals have been to turn the cavernous brick, steel and stone facade into an extreme sports castle; a casino; a hotel and office park; a fish hatchery and aquarium; an amphitheater; or a railway station again, with high-speed trains.

    Or just clean and secure it, and leave it the way it is as an attraction for tourists.

    “It’s the quintessential example of urban decay in Detroit,” said John Mohyi, a Wayne State University student and founder of the Michigan Central Station Preservation Society, a nonprofit group formed to save the building. “To see redevelopment of that station would have a major impact on morale.”

    Having lost nearly a million people in the last 60 years, Detroit has a backlog of thousands of empty office buildings, theaters, houses and hotels. Downtown alone, more than 200 abandoned buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Most are examples of the Art Deco and neo-Classical styles that were popular before World War II, when Detroit was booming.

    But with 500,000 square feet of space on 14 acres of land, Michigan Central Station is “different from your standard vacant building,” said Mickey Blashfield, a government relations official with the station’s owner, CenTra Inc., a trucking and transportation company that acquired it by default through a property transfer in 1995 and has struggled to find a use for it since.

    “Architecturally and historically,” Mr. Blashfield said, “it has more of an emotional connection with people than virtually any building in the city.”

    As it is, Michigan Central Station, with its 18-story office tower, has been picked to the bare bones by scavengers, who over the years have made off with a treasure-trove of chandeliers and mahogany and marble ornaments.

    But it is still a magnet for urban explorers and photographers from around the world. On various Facebook pages, it has more than 15,000 fans and friends. Phillip Cooley, a restaurant owner who lives across a park from the station, estimates that about 30 sightseers a day show up at its locked gate, cameras raised. He calls the building “an education.”

    “A building like that would not be allowed to deteriorate that way and remain standing in any other city,” said Mr. Cooley, who spends some of his free time around the station with neighbors cleaning up and planting grass. “It shows our postindustrial landscape: how nature takes over, what abandonment looks like. There’s a lot to be learned from its current state. It needs to be a public space again.”

    Jack Teatsorth, the station’s director of security, said his parents met at the depot during its bustling World War II years. “Inside is a solid steel skeleton,” he said. “There’s not enough dynamite in four states to bring this building down.”

    Mr. Blashfield said his company was not interested in demolition, but needed an anchor tenant or at least “a critical mass” of businesses or government agencies before it could pay for any renovation. And that is the hard part; grand and varied plans have been proposed over the years, with none coming to fruition.

    But there is new hope that momentum is building for Michigan Central to become a hub for some government security functions, like the Detroit headquarters of the Michigan State Police, some state and federal Homeland Security offices and, given Detroit’s location close to the Canadian border, a center for trade inspections, Mr. Blashfield said.

    Plans are preliminary, but they offer the most promise of anything proposed lately, especially if federal stimulus money can be used.

    “I think this window of opportunity is very narrow, and if we don’t seize the moment, we may lose it,” said Cameron S. Brown, a Republican state senator who supports having security agencies use the building. “The clock is ticking.”
     
  2. kokosing

    kokosing Active Member

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    sounds like here in Buffalo, the same thing, stupid tree huggers
     
  3. ddigger

    ddigger Senior Member

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    Wolf, check your PM,S
     
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    What are the tree huggers standing in the way of up in Buffalo? What kind of crap are they pulling up there?
     
  5. pwrstroke6john

    pwrstroke6john Well-Known Member

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    yea, but in buffalo you still decent buildings around. Half of Detroit needs to be leveled and hydro seeded.
     
  6. SPMiller

    SPMiller Senior Member

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    If anyone is wondering what it looks like....Check out on youtube search eminem - beautiful

    it's the old building he's walking around in I'm pretty sure.


    They've had alot of problems not mentioned that article in recent years. To do with drug trafficking and other crimes.
     
  7. stock

    stock Senior Member

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    We have moved on and now were lost....
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    Eire
    Definitely needs to come down...
     
  8. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    seems sad because its a pretty cool looking old structure, but the sad fact is its beyond all salvage and should come down. theres no way you could even attempt to fix that relic.

    with out the BS going on with retroactive environmental prosecution of environmental sites why not go after the property owners and force demolition of condemned buildings?
     
  9. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    yeah, it does need to come down. but the tree huggers are already out there suing and making a fuss. so Detroit will be stuck with this eyesore for a bit longer, I suppose. someone should just blow it up.:usa
     
  10. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    what ever happened with this station. did they knock it down yet, or is it still sittin there looking ugly, ready to fall apart?
     
  11. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    Still sitting there, the city doesn't own it yet so they can't demo it until they do. The building is rough but it's very cool on the inside, all marble and granite construction in the lobby, I think it could be brought back to life but it would take a whole lot of $.
     
  12. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    How did you get inside to check it out? Was that an urban exploration outing? Sounds kinda cool. Sooner or later they gonna wreck it. It's days are numbered. It's just a question of when or how. Do you think Adamo will get the work?
     
  13. pictureshack

    pictureshack New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I am a producer with a Manhattan-based television production company developing a show for a major TV network. The planned series will follow a pair of individuals with a passion and a deep knowledge of two or more of these things - architecture, history, Americana, engineering, antiques – as they comb the country visiting and exploring abandoned buildings and structures. It's a chance to see places in this country that are disappearing and tell something about our nation's past - like the empty factories that once employed hundreds in a small town to the abandoned grand hotels that were Vegas before there was a Vegas.

    We are now in the process of casting who those presenters/hosts might be and we would like to consider someone in the construction / demo / heavy equipment field as hosts for this project.

    We are not interested in professorial types. We are looking for regular people with big personalities (think the guys from “American Pickers,” “Myth Busters,” “Billy the Exterminator”) who have a sense of humor, a spirit of adventure and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

    If you are interested in learning more about the show and in being considered as a host, or you know someone who fits the bill, please send me back an e-mail at alex@pictureshackentertainment.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
     
  14. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    Did they Demo this old POS yet? Waht is going on with this place? Is it down yet.
     
  15. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    Are you still doing demo? Did they knock down that old Central Station yet?

    What is happening with it? Still sitting there rotting, or is it finally gone?

    :usa

    What kind of jobs do you have going? Any good pictures to post of demo or your equipment in action?