This old abandoned coal loader still stands over the Grand Trunk Railroad, on the outskirts of Crego Park, off N. Aurelius Road in Lansing. It was built in 1925 between Lansing and East Lansing by the Ogle Construction Company.

Some curious explorers discovered what appears to be the remains of someone's living quarters on the north side. There's a fire pit, what appears to be former sleeping quarters, food, garbage, strewn underwear, footwear, and other clothing; it appears to have once been something more than a place where someone could get privacy.

As for the loader itself, when it was functional it was large enough to fill four locomotives with coal on four separate tracks, two main and one siding on each end. There was a fifth track that was used to transfer coal from railroad cars to the above storage facility. Train cars that were loaded to the brim with coal were directed under the portal; the coal was then loaded onto conveyors that took the coal to the bin on top.  This particular unit was built sturdier than most other Michigan coal loaders, made of hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete and steel.....so much so, that it was easier to leave it standing and abandoned, rather than the tedious task of demolishing. Besides, the foundation is buried over 20 feet underground.

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When the loader ceased operations in the 1950s, all ladders and stairways were removed to discourage trespassers and curiosity-seekers.....but that obviously didn't deter someone from turning the portal into a temporary 'apartment'.

Two tracks remain, still used by the railroad, but they now simply pass through underneath the inoperable loader. You can easily see the old coal loader as you cross over the railroad bridge on N. Aurelius Road, between E. Mt. Hope and I-496.

Now look at the gallery below, and see if you also think this was used as somebody's living space...

Living Quarters in the Abandoned Lansing Coal Loader?

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