Many of the large,classically-inspired office buildings in Detroit have been demolished, more are slated for destruction soon. The Michigan Central Railroad Station is particularly noteworthy for its Beaux Arts design, and its historical significance.
That vandalism and neglect can grip such a prominent public monument amazes me. After all, I am not discussing a boarded-up storefront victimized by suburban sprawl. For more than half a century, the station was the hub at which commuting and adventure began and ended across the Northern Transportation Corridor. Gradually that ended with the consolidation and closing of many train lines, a result of air travel's popularity and America's increasing obsession with the automobile.
Aside from my historical and architectural interest in this building, the photographs I have made contribute to a larger, ongoing project, a visual study of the industrial age at the end of the twentieth century. For the past two decades I've traveled the United States and Great Britain exploring the landscapes and buildings amid the waste sites of industrial heartlands. These environments are evidence of a dramitic economic and demographic shift in contemporary urban culture.