I will never forget my first visit to MCS. Standing outside,
I strained my eyes to obtain a slight glimpse of what was
inside. MCS captivated me with its incredible beauty and power.
Years later I would return, camera in hand for a much closer
Clearly I am not the only one who was captivated by MCS.
During those early visits in 1999 people flocked to the building
like tourists. Some came to take photos, others simply to
enjoy the surroundings and others came with more sinister
motives of smashing and vandalizing. It was almost a park-like
setting in which the MCS retained its historic role as a public
Eventually the sheds came down and security went up. I've
mostly stayed away from the building the past 5 years but
often when I pass I still see people parking in front of the
building and gawking at its massive bulk. 16 years after it
closed the MCS still draws a crowd.
Over the years I've heard a number of proposals for the building.
Homeland security offices and a business center have both
sprung from the rumor mill. The latest proposal is Mayor Kilpatrick's
plan to convert the old depot into the new headquarters for
the police department. While the early news sounds promising
the plan also calls for the shuttering of the current Albert
Kahn headquarters. One white elephant for another.
In my opinion the police headquarters is not the best use
for the station. However, at this point I am almost willing
to support whatever plan puts the building back in use. The
questions facing Detroit and preservationists over the following
months will be can the proposal be accomplished when so many
have failed and what will the fate of the current headquarters
be should the police move to MCS? Time will tell. It sure
would be ironic to think that the most UEed abandoned landmark
in Detroit could become home of the city's police.