Michigan Central Railway Station, photo submitted 1989 Michigan Central Railway Station, photo submitted 1989
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Michigan Central Railroad Station
44McCamly, Battle Creek - Calhoun County
Other Names Penn Central Railway Station/New York Central Railway Station
Property Type railroad depot
Historic Use TRANSPORTATION/rail related
Current Use COMMERCE/TRADE/restaurant
Style Romanesque
Architect/Builder Rogers and Macfarlane
Narrative Description The Michigan Central Railway Station in Battle Creek is a large one-and-one-half-story brick building measuring approximately 135 feet long and 35 feet wide. It has a hipped roof, wide bracketed overhangs, a chimney, and a clock tower. The building rests on a foundation of Lake Superior brown stone. The depot has a porte cochere at the one entrance. An express office on the opposite side is attached to the depot by a covered walk and has been substantially rebuilt, although a similar, smaller structure adjoined the original depot. Initially, antique style oak furniture was used at the station and other original interior elements remain.
Statement of Significance The Michigan Central Railway Station reflected the significance of both the Michigan Central's line from Detroit to Chicago and Battle Creek's growth. Plans for the station were drawn by Rogers & McFarlane of Detroit and the station was built in 1887-88 at a cost of twenty-four thousand dollars. Despite conversion in the 1990s to a restaurant named Clara's On the River, few alterations to the structure have been made (although the landscaping is gone). The original tile roof has been replaced, and the clock in the tower has been removed. Other changes have included an addition of one floor, enclosure of the porte cochere, and masonry cleaning. The changes were not intrusive, however, and the interior woodwork is in good condition. The current dining room is actually a previous addition that has been upgraded.
Marker Name Michigan Central Depot
Marker Text MICHIGAN CENTRAL DEPOT The Michigan Central Railroad Depot opened on July 27, 1888. Rogers and McFarlane of Detroit designed the depot, one of several Richardsonian Romanesque-style stations the Michigan Central built between Detroit and Chicago in the late nineteenth century. Thomas Edison as well as Presidents William Howard Taft and Gerald Ford visited here. The depot was acquired by the New York Central Railroad in 1918, Penn Central in 1968 and Amtrak in 1970. The depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1888
Registry Type(s) 04/25/1989 Marker erected
04/16/1971 National Register listed
11/06/1970 State Register listed
Site ID# P22716