3dcolab creative collaboration in immersive online 3d environments

Michigan Central Station, Detroit


This project is a highly detailed virtual model of what was the city's main train station - built in 1913 as a larger than life Beaux Art monument anticipating Detroit's future.

Unfortunately 100 years later it has become a highly publicized symbol of industrial decay in modern Detroit. It has been closed for more than two decades and currently has barbed wire fencing and a security patrol to keep people out.

Our goal is to create a model of what the building looked like in its heyday and to open it to the public in virtual reality. Interested people can create an account here, choose an avatar and stroll around immersing themselves in a bygone era.

The simulation is multi­user and is visited regularly by users/avatars from all over the world. In building our simulation we have painstakingly followed the original blueprints, elevations and photos from the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit city library as well as other researched information such as the Manning Brothers Historic Photographic Collection.

The model includes more than 35 rooms on the first floor including facilities for baggage handling, customs processing, a restaurant, barber shop, ladies room, drug store and rental shower and bath facilities.

The main waiting room has 54 foot high Guastavino arches and Italianate marble columns. It leads to the ticket arcade and then to the upper and lower concourse ramp and accurately to the subway tunnel that runs under the tracks and leads to staircases up to the passenger loading platforms for the 11 tracks.

At the far south end is the loading dock with entry to the massive underground store room and materials handling areas. There is also the 13 story office building rising up 230 feet. Our simulation allows visitors to take the elevator up to the 12th floor and try out the balcony view.

This project is under constant development and we are currently in conversation with local preservationists to improve the accuracy of the historic details.

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