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What This Drone Footage Caught In Michigan Will Drop Your Jaw

Michigan Central Station is widely regarded as one of the most important, and in many ways, most tragic pieces of architecture in the state’s history. The station was built in in 1913 in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. Back in those days, most folks in town got around via streetcar, as the automobile was still not in widespread use, and heavily used trains for vacation and other travel. During rail’s peak usage at the start of World War I, more than 200 trains left the Michigan station every day. By the 1940s, some 4,000 passengers used the station daily. Among those users were presidents Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Charlie Chaplin, among other notable historical figures.

Alas, the popularization of the automobile led to the decline of the station. Viable parking was never a part of the property’s design; after all, people didn’t drive much when it was first constructed. By the mid-20th century, the building started to decline. On Jan. 6, 1988, the last Amtrak train pulled off from Michigan Central Station. By then, only a couple of ticket booths occupied the gargantuan space and the owners (the property had changed hands several times over the years) decided to close the place. Over the years, countless spelunkers have snuck into the place, vandalizing it and leaving it in ruins.

It’s pretty secure these days, but now, thanks to the technology of drones we can get an up-close look at this fascinating and mysterious place. Take a look.

While the story could end with that last train leaving the station in the ’80s, there is some hope. The current ownership, headed by┬áthe Detroit International Bridge Company, has been slowly making small improvements to the space, including replacing 1,050 windows, adding electricity, and and elevator shaft. No one quite knows what will become of the 18-story station (at one time considered the tallest rail station in the world), but the signs of life sure are exciting.

Tell us, do any of you have memories of Michigan Central Station from back when it was still in use? Do you remember the day that it closed? Tell us all about it!

Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning freelance journalist in Detroit, by way of Chicago, by way of the West Coast. She writes about Michigan for OIYS. Serena enjoys learning about language and culture and taking road trips with her beagle Ralph.