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Chelsea station (Michigan) facts for kids

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Chelsea
ChelseaMIDepot.jpg
Location 150 Jackson Street, Chelsea, Washtenaw County, Michigan 48118
Former services
Preceding station New York Central Railroad Following station
Grass Lake
toward Chicago
Michigan Central Railroad
Main Line
Dexter
toward Buffalo
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Jackson
Terminus
Michigan Executive Ann Arbor
Michigan Central Railroad Chelsea Depot
Location 150 Jackson St., Chelsea, Michigan
Area 0.8 acres (0.32 ha)
Built 1880 (1880)
Built by Adams & Rogers
Architect Mason and Rice
Architectural style Stick style Victorian architecture
NRHP reference No. 87000915
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 12, 1987

Chelsea station is a disused railroad depot located at 150 Jackson Street in Chelsea, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1986 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 as Michigan Central Railroad Chelsea Depot. The depot is the only known Michigan example designed by the well known Detroit architectural firm of Mason and Rice.

History

The land where the Chelsea Depot now sits was first settled in the 1830s by brothers Elisha and James Congdon. In 1848, the Congdons offered the Michigan Central Railroad a plot of land along the rail line on which to build a station. The railroad accepted, and the first structure built at the site was a freight station, completed in 1850. A series of freight stations followed, and the resulting freight business through the town spurred the growth of Chelsea in the mid-1800s. However, in 1875, the last of these depots - a rather shabby shed - was destroyed under suspicious circumstances, and the railroad was slow to rebuild it.

In 1880, the railroad decided to establish passenger service in Chelsea, and chose the site for an experiment in improving the appearance and design of their rural stations. The railroad hired Detroit architects Mason and Rice to design the new station. It was built and commissioned in 1880, and served as a Michigan Central Railroad passenger station until 1975, when the company went out of business. Amtrak took over the line, and continued service until 1981, when the station was closed. For the next few years, the station was used for storage.

In 1985, a group of Chelsea citizens formed the Chelsea Depot Association and, with the financial assistance of local businesses, purchased the depot to prevent the deterioration of the structure. They began restoration efforts in 1986, and the depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The building has since been used as a rental space for community and private functions, and the Chelsea Depot Association continues to maintain it. In 2011, the exterior was repainted and new windows were installed.

Description

Mason and Rice's design for the Michigan Central Railroad Chelsea Depot is a Stick style Late Victorian design, with multiple gables and gingerbread decoration. It is a one-story rectangular frame structure measuring 100 feet (30 m) by 35 feet (11 m), with widely overhanging eaves. A hip roof triple bay at each end delineates the two interior waiting rooms - one for women and one for men. Most of the structure is covered with horizontal clapboard, but the gable ends are covered with vertical board and batten. A brick patio surrounds the building. With the exception of some changes to the chimney structure and missing roof crests and finial, the depot's exterior looks exactly like it did when constructed.

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