It has been quite a while since we were able to get the cement plants on Detroit’s riverfront torn down, and it has made a dramatic difference in the waterfront.
Now we have to turn our attention to two major architectural eyesores that need the entire community’s action to get rid of or fixed up.
The Michigan Central Depot railroad station is a giant eyesore that almost symbolizes the plight that Detroit has had for the last few decades. We all know the owner and how he has fought the new bridge being built just a bit downriver from his existing bridge.
Somehow, this railroad station has something to do with his plan. There are some tunnels under the station, and I have no doubt it will become a pawn in whatever Matty Moroun’s grand plan turns out to be.
By all accounts, it would take far too much money to fix up the station for some business use, and so it would seem that unless someone comes up with a plan, the best thing to do is tear it down. Perhaps it should even be condemned, if for no other reason than it is a hazard.
Meanwhile, right in the middle of downtown is the legacy of our Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano: the half-built or less county jail. Sitting in a spot that was pretty inappropriate to begin with, it stands as a symbol of the corruption and inefficiency of our county government.
Hopefully, the plans for this jail will be transferred to somewhere outside of downtown Detroit. But in the meantime, let’s hope that Dan Gilbert’s plan for demolishing the structure can come to pass.
It is amazing that these two structures, separated by decades, can create such a blight on our image.
The city is doing a great job of attacking blight in our city, and there is a real program to eliminate abandoned houses or to sell them with plans for renovation.
To continue to allow these two eyesores to remain standing as the perfect photo op for every visiting journalist who comes to write about our city seems simply absurd.
Both of these structures have existed far too long without positive resolution. I am not sure how we ever got those concrete monstrosities removed from the riverfront, because it took several decades. But it happened, and I hope that we’ll find the same government magic to make these two structures disappear as well.
Maybe we can ask the Ilitches to tear them down when they’re building their new arena.
Originally posted by: Crain’s Detroit Business