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Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot

 
 
Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 30, 2020
1. Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot Marker
Inscription.  
Ann Arbor's Art Moderne-style bus depot, touted as one of the most up-to-date in the country, was officially opened in September 1940. A large crowd of dignitaries and admirers assembled as the mayor cut a maize and blue satin ribbon stretched across the glass doors.

The crowd was invited to inspect the station's impressive interior. Modern in all details, it illustrated how popular and important bus travel was in the 1940s. The Ann Arbor News reported that the front exterior was of Indiana limestone and polished black marble with stainless steel and aluminum trim. A large neon sign informed the public that buses of the Blue Goose, Shortway, and Greyhound lines used the station, which included a completely covered passenger loading platform and bus roadway.

The original interior of the depot consisted of a modern waiting room (above right) with terrazzo floor, harmonizing colors, stainless steel trim, and 62 natural birch seats. A telegraph booth, baggage room, and ticket office welcomed those who entered from Huron. A sparkling polished steel lunch counter with 12 seats lined the wall on the left.

Major
Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 30, 2020
2. Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot Marker
alterations were made in the decades that followed. The lunch counter was removed in the 1960s. Many of the other decorative elements were lost in a series of Greyhound station remodelings in the 1970s. The interior was later described as having an "industrial plainness" — barren long before the station was demolished in 2014 by First Martin Corporation to make way for a hotel. Although historic elements of the façade and marquee had fallen into disrepair, they have been carefully restored and retained.

Top middle imgae caption:
The Ann Arbor bus depot, 1960

Top right image caption:
The entire lobby was lit by up-to-date fluorescent lighting.

Bottom left image caption:
(Left) The depot under construction shortly before its opening in 1940. The inset shows the original floor plan with lunch counter, waiting areas, baggage room, ticket office, telegraph, and covered loading platforms.

Bottom middle images caption:
(Left) Less than two years after it was built, the bus depot lobby was packed with recruits and draftees waiting to be transported to WWII training centers.
(Right) By early 1943, a converted auto hauler, labeled "Victory Coach," was used to transport military personnel and workers to Willow Run. The coach is parked on West Huron across from the bus station.

Bottom
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right image caption:

(Right) A Greyhound bus leaves the station in March of 1970. The historic building to the right had already been covered with metal siding. It was destroyed by fire in 1971. The lot sat vacant for 16 years before construction of a 10-story office and residential building on the corner in 1987.

Sponsored by First Martin Corporation

Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library and the collection of H. H. Hildebrandt
 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings.
 
Location. 42° 16.894′ N, 83° 44.96′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is on West Huron Street east of Ashley Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 116 West Huron Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Interurbans to Buses (here, next to this marker); Hospitality on Courthouse Square (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Horses to Cars: Early Autos, Service and Parts (about 300 feet away); Three Generations of Metzgers on Washington Street (about 300 feet away); Centers for Communications on Courthouse Square
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(about 300 feet away); Michigan Becomes a State (about 300 feet away); Building New Around Old: The Construction of the Present Courthouse (about 300 feet away); The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .  Ann Arbor Bus Depot. Wikipedia article about the bus depot, including mention that the depot was demolished in 2014 to make way for a hotel. (Submitted on September 22, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 22, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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Nov. 23, 2020