From Railroad Station to Visitors Welcoming Center at Muskegon

The old Muskegon Union Depot was built in 1895 and remained as a passenger station until its closure in 1970. Fortunately, the building was saved but left vacant for a couple decades until it was finally converted into a visitor and convention center, a museum and a bus stop.

Apart from retaining the many traditional Michigan rustic-style stone details, the most successful aspect of this adaptive reuse is keeping the original function of the building as a place for everyone who comes to visit Muskegon, the city in which its lumber was used to build the old Chicago before the great fire.

Secondly, keeping the the old circular drop-off drive-way and the front lawn, helped visitors in understanding how travelers used to arrive at this station. The beauty of this adaptive reuse is that nothing major was altered. If the train has a comeback in the future which it may, this place can be converted back to a railroad station one day easily!

muskegon county convention and visitors bureau, 610 west western ave, muskegon, michigan – 12:59pm, may 21, 2010

the old lobby / waiting room

an old train model showing telling the history of the railroad station

(left) a newly added conference room upstairs (right) refurbished spiral staircase in the front, as shown in the first photo, leading to the upstairs

Old photo showing the drop-off area right in front of the building. They are pretty well dressed, traveling on train must be a big deal!


5 thoughts on “From Railroad Station to Visitors Welcoming Center at Muskegon

  1. J. Mark Souther says:

    I love the Richardsonian Romanesque stone arch on the entrance. In fact, this is a very interesting blog. So much that I see on issues surrounding preservation and urbanism focuses on major cities, so it’s refreshing to get some perspectives in smaller cities like Ann Arbor. Keep up the good blogging. If interested, please also check out my blog

    • kam says:

      Thx for checking out my blog. Michigan has so much to offer, especially in the summer. I hope more people will go check out their neighboring cities and support them!

  2. Sartenada says:

    How beautiful old building. I appreciate highly that it serves yet today people, teach to people old architecture and that everything can be changed for new purpose in an excellent way, not to destroy. That an old train model we had same kind at Helsinki Railway Station many decencies ago. It worked by putting a coin inside it.

    Our railway stations on country side are mainly from wood, not all of course. The state has sold some of them and private people have “modernized” them into houses.

    I am very glad that I had a possibility to see Your photos and to “visit” there thru Your photos.

    • kam says:

      Thx so much for the “visit”! I wish I have photographed all churches in Detroit before I left. Train from the old time has always been fascinating for me. Their station, the trains, the experience of the old travel… I even found an old picture of the train station in my home town. It had beautiful arched and great waiting hall. Oh wow, of course it was torn down for something more “efficient” or so it was called. Wish too the old Penn Station in NYC were still around. The magnificent of the past somehow is never surpassed by the new,… at least for me!

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