From The Detroit News
After decades of looking like a bombed-out relic, the iconic Michigan Central Train Depot is set to receive a mini face-lift.
Manuel “Matty” Moroun, owner of the depot and the Ambassador Bridge, will replace the roof and the windows on the once elegant 19-story building that has overlooked Michigan Avenue since 1913.
“We’re applying with the city to replace the roof and the windows,” said Dan Stamper, bridge company president.
“We’re doing it because it would be much easier to help a developer to come up with a package to use the depot if some improvements were made … so that’s what we’re doing.”
Stamper said it was too early to come up with an estimate for the repairs, but acknowledged it would be expensive.
“We have our engineers working on an estimate,” he said.
Mayor Dave Bing’s office confirmed the city has had preliminary talks with the bridge company about repairs to the depot.
“But that’s about the extent of it so far,” said Bing spokesman Dan Lijana.
“Obviously seeing improvements to the central depot to make it look more aesthetically pleasing is something we would certainly support. But they haven’t pulled any permits as of yet. We await their next move.”
Created by the same architects who designed Grand Central Station in New York City, the building at one time was the largest train station in the world and known for its rich décor.
Decline and decay pulled into the station soon after the last train departed in January 1988. Scrappers looted the building.
Over the years, several ideas have been pitched for the building, including a new police headquarters. None has panned out. Nor has a 2009 resolution from the City Council to demolish it.
Because of its look of urban decay, the depot has been used in several films, including “Transformers,” “The Island,” “Four Brothers” and “Eight Mile.”