On January, 1893 the first train steamed into the stately old Union Depot in downtown Detroit.
No, not that abandoned train station you see on all the ruin porn web sites.
You know, Detroit’s other train station. More than 10,000 people were estimated to have dropped by the depot for a peek. Legendary Mayor Hazen S. Pingree was among the masses, showing up in a “great fur coat.”
The trains kept coming and going for the next half century, but times would change. As cars and planes made passenger trains obsolete, train stations closed one by one.
After the legendary Wabash Cannonball bowled out of the Union Depot for the last time on April 30, 1971, boards were nailed over the station’s windows and doors the next day.
Despite a last-minute Hail Mary preservation attempt, the building would be destroyed in January 1974. The rails would be ripped up and replaced with miles of concrete for the Lodge. And another once-proud Detroit landmark became largely relegated to the dustbin of history.
The Wayne County Community College District has a building on the site of the depot now.
For the full article, see Dan Austin, “The day Detroit’s ‘other’ train station opened its doors”, Detroit Free Press, January 21, 2015.
For a longer version, see Dan Austin, Union Depot, HistoricDetroit.org Blog.