Old train station may get new life - 03-01-01.htm
Old train station may get new life - 03/01/01of possible interest
Thursday, March 1, 2001
Metro / State
Nation / World
Politics / Govt.
The Detroit News.
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Old train station may get new life
Developer sees Detroit depot as customs center
By Darren A. Nichols, and Cameron McWhirter / The Detroit NewsDonna Terek/The Detroit News
The owner of the Michigan Central Depot says he wants to revive the 88-year-old station.
DETROIT -- The owner of Detroit's most glaring eyesore -- the old central train station -- is working on plans to restore it.
The move comes as the Detroit City Council prepares to consider demolishing the gutted building, which towers 18 stories over the old Tiger Stadium neighborhood. Last fall, the council had granted a six-month reprieve.
Now, Manuel Maroun, the owner of the Michigan Central Depot and the Ambassador Bridge, is set to present a redevelopment plan to the council March 15. His group has scheduled a meeting for 4 p.m. today at El Zocalo Restaurant, where neighbors can share ideas.
Moroun, who also owns a portion of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, has been working with an architectural firm to develop his restoration plans for the depot. Although no plan has been completed, ideas include turning the structure into a U.S. Customs Trade Center with a cultural arts area.
Built in 1913, the station was designed by the same architects who built New York's Grand Central Terminal. With the decline of Corktown and its distance from downtown, the station fell into disuse, and Amtrak made its last stop there in January 1988.
"It is time. The station has waited long enough," said Katherine Clarkson, executive director of Preservation Wayne. "It would be such a shame to lose that particularly wonderful space."