The depot was originally built in 1903, but a fire destroyed it about 18 months later. It was rebuilt by 1905. The original designers were Spier and Rohms, and the rebuilt version of the depot featured terrazzo floors, oak-trimmed windows, and a turn-of-the-century ticket cage.
This is one of the most photographed depots in the U.S. due to its Chateau Romanesque building architecture. Photo opportunities are also available because the depot still has approximately 30 freight trains passing by each day. And add to that the Amtrak trains that call on the depot twice daily. When Amtrak passengers stop and visit there, they are treated to a big part of Michigan Railroading history. On the other end of the depot there is the Michigan Railroad History Museum with many railroad artifacts, and a library and archives for research purposes, for railfans, and for genealogists. Also, that part of the building is the home of the Durand Union Station Model Railroad Engineers, who operate a large HO-scale layout and entertain visitors on Saturdays. Upstairs are the Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk museums, which feature exhibits on their railroad lines.