Enlightenment on a greenfield site

Renoviertes Michigan Central Station erstrahlt Ende 2023 in altem Glanz. Das Gebäude hat eine wechselvolle Geschichte. In den 1970er Jahren begannen Jahrzehnte des Verfalls. In den Jahren nach 1988 wechselte das Gebäude mehrmals den Besitzer, einmal für weniger als 80.000 Dollar. Das Bahnhofsgebäude wurde zum Tummelplatz für Vandalen, Obdachlose, Sprayer und Junkies. Ab 2024 wird Ford Motor Company es als Mobiltäts-Forschungscampus nutzen / © Foto: Georg Berg
Michigan Central, Detroit / © Photo: Georg Berg

Michigan Central Station will shine in its former glory at the end of 2023. While elsewhere in the world main stations were built in the heart of a city, in Detroit a monumental building was erected on a greenfield site in 1910. The aim was to revitalize the still tranquil Corktown district. That went badly wrong. As everyone knows, Detroit and later the whole of the USA relied on the automobile. Decades of decay began for the station in the 1970s. The building changed hands several times, once for less than 80,000 dollars! Michigan Central Station became a playground for vandals, homeless people, sprayers and junkies and one of the most popular lost places for photographers.

In future, trains will no longer run through this station. The Ford Motor Company is planning to turn it into a central research campus for mobility. Once again, the focus is on the future of global mobility and the Corktown district is set to benefit from this. This time it could succeed.

Our journey through Michigan starts in the capital Detroit with classics and new attractions of a city in transition. The huge Michigan Central station, once a ruined line, celebrated its comeback as a research location for mobility in 2023. However, the options for getting around Detroit have long been extremely diverse, as mobility in Motown works pretty well even without a car. The journey continues to Traverse City on Lake Michigan with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Mission Point Lighthouse is one of these lighthouses with a history. Why the lighthouse in Grand Traverse County is particularly popular with women is explained in the story about Sarah Lane and the keeper program. We continue on to Charlevoix. The town has a maritime flair and lots of stones. There are Petoskey stones on the beach and Earl Young’s famous stone houses in the town. USA without cars? A fact on Mackinac Island. The success story of Michigan’s heavy industry began with a defeat.

The research was supported by Visit Detroit

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