You are here

Gandy Dancer (Ann Arbor Depot of the Michigan Central Railroad)

-A A +A
Ann Arbor Depot of the Michigan Central Railroad
1886, Frederick H. Spier of Spier and Rohns; 1969–1970, 1975 rehabilitations, Donald E. Van Curler Associates. 401 Depot St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

This railroad complex by Detroit architect Spier (1855–1931), who, with Rohns, was noted for the firm's designs for depots on the Michigan Central and Grand Trunk railroad lines, was acclaimed by the Ann Arbor Courier on its completion in 1886 as the finest station between Buffalo and Chicago. This depot's Richardsonian Romanesque character is powerfully expressed by the native granite fieldstone; the bold massing of the squat tower, turret, and gables; the deep-set round-arched openings on the lower level with groupings of smaller windows above the entrance arch; and the eyelid windows. The energetic patterns of the arches, the large scale of the rock-faced masonry, and the weight of the massing all tell of the prestige of the Michigan Central Railroad Company. Van Curler Associates rehabilitated the depot for use as a restaurant.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Gandy Dancer (Ann Arbor Depot of the Michigan Central Railroad)", [Ann Arbor, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 140-140.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.