Illusionist Plans To Make Detroit Icon Disappear

DETROIT (WWJ) – Now you see it, now you don’t. An illusionist is planning a vanishing act with one of Detroit’s most well-known vacant buildings.

Illusionist Aaron Balcom wants to make the Michigan Central Train station disappear into thin air. The 27-year-old Michigan magician said the trick is part of a project called “Detroit’s Mega Illusion.” And he studied Houdini to make it work.

What are Detroiters saying about the grand illusion?  WWJ’s Marie Osborne hit the streets of Corktown to get reactions from Detroiters.

While a lot of people have disparaging things to say of the deteriorating train station, Ryan Cooley of O’Connor Real Estate thinks the building is fine just where it is. And he can see it everyday out of his Michigan Avenue office window.

“Some people really want to get it knocked down right away and I think that’s really the last thing that should happen at this point,” Colley said.

Even though he likes the building where it is, Cooley thinks the disappearing act would be a fun event for the city.

“Really from the comical standpoint yeah, it will be fun, and it he can really pull it off, then why not?” Cooley said.

Derman Brown works in the Corktown area as an electrician. He says he loves the train station and remembers going there as a little boy with his grandfather.

“All the hustle and bustle is just something that I always see every time I pass by it. I still see all the cars, I see the trains, I see all the people,” Brown said. “I’m still kind of skeptical [about the illusion], but its something that would bring people down here to see the splendor and the beauty of the city, then the more the better.”

Dave Kwitkowski, owner of the Sugar House Bar that is set to open in just a few weeks on Michigan Avenue, said he can see the Old Train Depot from the front door.

“Oh, we love the train station. The illusion will be interesting to see. But, I don’t want it disappear, I don’t want it to go anywhere. I want to see it reopened,” Kwitkowski said.

A date and time has yet to be set for “Detroit’s Mega Illusion,” although Balcom said he hopes to have enough funds raised by this summer.


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