Michigan Railroad Station

Michigan Railroad Station
Michigan Railroad Station
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On other occasions we have already talked about railway stations which are great works of architecture, such as Atocha in Madrid or the Grand Central Terminal in New York where the famous “guastavino” vaults were used. Both stations have many decades behind them, but both are still fully operational today. Something that does not happen at the Michigan Central Station in the North American city of Detroit, which we want to talk about today.

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Michigan Railroad Station

This building was inaugurated in 1914, and remained in use until 1988, when the lack of use caused it to be closed, the property was sold and no more trains left here. In other words, a period that coincided with the unstoppable growth of the city of Detroit, head of the state of Michigan due to its prosperous motor industry.

This city at the time was very thriving, so it is no coincidence that the construction of the highest railway station in the world will be promoted. But paradoxically, the manufacture of cars promoted by this and so many works in Detroit led to a mass use of the automobile during the 20th century, which was going to be the cause of the drop in passengers by train. That, together with the poor connection with the city center and its excessive height with the maintenance costs that this entailed, were the reasons for its closure. And hisabsolute current decadence, several decades later.

But you have to imagine the place in all its splendor. In fact, the parallels with the Grand Central Terminal in NY are abundant, and not only for reasons of contemporaneity and style, the so-called Beaux Arts style, also because in the construction of both the same professional teams participated in many parts of the works.

Although the characteristic of the Detroit building is its height, since it has two parts. The station itself and the attached tower that with 18 floors reaches 70 meters. A tower that was never really fully used.

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Detroit Station Waiting Room

Within the Beaux Arts style, decoration was of great importance. Something that is manifested here in the Roman style that inspired its enormous waiting room, where the marble gleamed and its elegant vaulted ceilings. In addition, classical elements such as the Doric order columns are still distinguished.

A magnificent building that despite its abandonment and the vandalism it has suffered, no one has dared to tear down, among other things because it is on the list of Monuments of America. Fortunately, perhaps a deep restoration of it will be undertaken soon, since it has been acquired by one of the great firms of the American automobile industry, which thinks of turning it into an icon of the brand.

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