CPA Building

Ok, so I’ll admit that for the longest time I assumed that the “CPA” in CPA Building stood for Certified Public Accountant.  Not until I started researching the history of the building for this blog post, did I find out that it actually means, Conductor’s Protective Association!  Now it makes more sense that it’s directly across from the Train Station, lol…WOW…mind blown 😉
Ok so here we go – Built in 1923 the CPA Building was the headquarters of the Conductor’s Protective Association.  It was sort of a union, for railway conductors, assisting with health insurance, life insurance and unemployment. The building went through numerous changes with the closure of the train station in 1988.  The first floor was sealed off and turned into a bank, with a drive-thru teller window added to the side, and later transformed into a restaurant while the upper floors were rented out to other tenants, the last of which were the Mormon missionares of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church in 2008.  In 2009 the CPA Building was abandoned and boarded up and has sat vacant ever since, falling into massive decay.  Even though the structure is still sound (minus an SUV crashing into the first floor wall in late 2013), the interior has been trashed by homeless transients, scrappers and mother nature.

While the view of Michigan Central Train Station is breathtaking, the journey to the upper floors, to see the view, were quite an obstacle! Once entry was made, navigating around the first floor was a task. It was very dark (due to boarded up windows), and the ground was covered in bags of garbage, fixtures, clothes, papers, food cans, plates, and the overwhelming odor of “porta-potty” lead me to believe that I was stepping on or over all kinds of urine and feces, as well.

After walking around the bottom floor, we finally found the entrance point to the other part of the building and the upper floors.  Thankfully a previous explorer or temporary tenant, left a turned over bucket and wood flank to assist with entry/exit to the other side of the sealed off floor.  Once we made it to the other side, I could see what remained of the restaurant. We started climbing the stairs to the office spaces and OMG it was peely paint heaven!  The long, curving hallways were eerie as the wind blew across the floor, slamming doors shut and creating a howling sound.  It was definitely creepy. At the other end of the building, I located a second (better lit) starwell, where I swear I hard someone talking…but nobody was there.  We opened office door, after office door, finding tons of business documents and records, old liquor bottles from a cabinet, couches, desks, chairs…you name it-it was there!

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