After World War II, rail traffic began to decline. The rise of automobiles, the development of highways and later air transport, slowly extinguished the need for railroads. The Michigan Central Station closed down in 1988. Like many neoclassical and Renaissance buildings, the station was inspired by the remains of the Baths of Caracalla. Ironically, just as the former Roman public baths, the Michigan Central Station itself ended as a ruin. It remains as the most iconic ruin of Detroit.
Waiting hall, Michigan Central Station, 2008