DETROIT (WWJ) – A young man is in the hospital after falling through flooring at one of the city’s long-vacant historic landmarks.
WWJ’s Ron Dewey reports a 22-year-old Oakland County man ignored the “no trespassing” signs at the old Michigan Central Depot building in downtown Detroit, in order to take photos inside the abandoned structure. But once inside, his adventure took a turn for the worse when he fell 30 to 40 feet through a gaping hole, down to the basement’s concrete floor.
The man did have a cell phone and was able to call 911 and direct rescuers to his location, where he was removed by firefighters who dropped a ladder to him. He was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries and is expected to recover.
Police ticketed the man and a woman who was with him at the scene for trespassing.
While the property is patrolled by railroad police and to a certain extent postal police, sources say the only time there’s any real on-site security at the building is when its being used for a movie.
The depot was built in 1913 and fell into disrepair after rail service ended in 1988. Renovation work began last summer to clean up the exterior of the building, which is located just off Michigan Avenue at Vernor. The historic building is owned by the Detroit International Bridge Company.
The building has become popular as a location for “urban exploring,” as have several other abandoned buildings in Detroit, where individuals or groups of people enter the building to document and capture the unseen beauty in vacant places. The activity presents various risks, including both physical danger and the possibility of arrest and punishment.