A Brief History Lesson on Hunt Street Station
The Hunt Street Station, which has a commanding view of Gratiot Avenue, is located on the corner of Hunt and Dubois near Detroit’s historic Eastern Market. It was completed in May of 1897 and served as the Third Precinct for Detroit’s Metropolitan Police Department for 63 years. Edward Van Leyen, who also designed the Belle Isle Casino was the project’s architect.
In 1911, Hunt Street Station became home to one of the first police academies in the nation. Officers learned how to handle evidence, appear before a judge, and shoot guns (as evidenced by the bullet holes and slugs still in the space today). In 1927, Henderson Turpin, otherwise known as Mr. Ben, became Hunt Street Station’s first black police officer. Mr. Ben was notorious for his brutal behavior toward the black community and while his actions were very controversial, his story is part of the Station’s history. In fact, members of the community still tell stories today of Mr. Ben.
The Station was vacated by the Police Department in January of 1960 when the Hunt and Chene precincts were merged into the Mack-Gratiot Precinct. Since then, the Station has been entrusted to a variety of private owners and on February, 29th, 1980, it was added to the National Register of Historic places.
In early 2017, Detroiters Matthew and Kevin Morin purchased the building and began a historical renovation to return the Station to its former glory. Now completed, Hunt Street Station is the new home for Macro Connect, the Morins’ education technology consulting company. It also offers substantial downtown Detroit coworking space for small businesses, non-profits, and independent professionals.