Windows Being Replaced in Detroit Station

Michigan Central Station in Detroit has long been a symbol of urban decay and unfulfilled promise.

The vacant former railroad station sits southwest of downtown Detroit awaiting a better future or even a future at all.

Over the years more than 1,000 windows have been broken, but now about 600 of them – all on the upper floors – have been replaced.

Ken Carter, a superintendent of the project for the Detroit International Bridge Co., expects all of the nearly 1,100 broken windows to be replaced by the end of the year.

The project is part of a deal between Manuel “Matty” Moroun, who owns the station and the city of Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan wants to improve Riverside Park by swapping land there for a parcel that Moroun needs to build a replacement span next to the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Carter said the restoration efforts at the station have thus far cost about $12 million. That includes restoring electricity and installing a $4 million elevator capable of carrying freight and passengers. The new windows will cost about $3 million.

“This building touches many people,” Carter said. “We think it’s very important to bring it back.”

The station has been empty since the last Amtrak trains called there on Jan. 6, 1988.

Vandals and thieves have since turned the station into a notorious eyesore with every window broken.

The Moroun family gained control of the station in the mid-1990s but has only recently begun to restore it. No plans have been announced for a use of the station, which was built in 1913.

The depot is of the Beaux-Arts Classical style of architecture and was designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem firms, which also designed New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

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