Detroit's Central Depot: The Next Alcatraz?

Could Detroit turn its crumbling buildings into tourist attractions? The Urbanophile says there are worse ideas.
March 12, 2010, 12pm PST | Tim Halbur
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The Michigan Central Depot has become a symbol of Detroit's decay. The building has stood unused and in ruins for years, and its fate is in limbo. The New York Times reported that several ideas are being tossed around for the property, from tearing it down to turning it into a casino. But the idea that caught The Urbanophile's eye is to make it safe and turn the ruins into a tourist attraction.

He writes, "What if instead of spending a huge amount of money to try to save one building, the city found a little bit of money to do basic maintenance to preserve the structural integrity of many buildings – and create a safe path through parts of them that tourists could walk through similar to how ancient ruins are displayed in Europe. Heck, don't even clean the buildings up. That saves money and makes them even more impressive to visitors. This could preserve more structures for the long haul, and create a tourist attraction. The structures can always been renovated later when demand warrants."

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Published on Friday, March 12, 2010 in The Urbanophile
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