A building that has been standing strong in the heart of Durand for well over one hundred years has been fully restored, with several apartment units available for renters.

Durand's historic RR YMCA Building is one of just a handful of Railroad YMCA buildings still in existence in the US, and on the inside it looks nothing like it did when it was erected in the early 1900s.

Historically, railroad YMCA buildings played an important role in US history and culture.

According to Abandoned Online:

"Railroad YMCAs were once staples in the United States, offering lounges, recreational amenities, restaurants, and a safe and convenient place for rest for the myriad of railroad employees."

Durand's RR YMCA Building is currently owned and maintained by Paul Szary. He tells us that the building once served as Durand's City hall and jail after a fire destroyed part of the downtown area.

Durand - A Railroad Town From the Very Beginning

Durand was incorporated as a village in 1887 and later as a city in 1932. Its nickname 'Railroad City, USA' is still applicable today as Durand's Union Station serves as a focal point for the community.

But its history as a railroad community dates back even further to the mid-1850s when the first railroad came through the area. According to this source, 50 Italian immigrants were working for the railroad and living in railcars. Those workers helped bring the number of area citizens to 300, enough to incorporate it as a village.

By the early 1900s, Durand was a bustling railroad hub serving the Grand Trunk Western and Ann Arbor Railroads. Today, Durand's Union Station serves as an Amtrak depot and several freight carriers use a nearby rail yard as a central hub.

The RR YMCA Building in Durand

Today, the building at the intersection of Mercer and Main features several apartment units. Paul Szary owns the property and provided the pictures below. He tells Townsquare Media that Apartment #7 on the second floor is the building's premier offering, with pristine views of the city and Durand's historic train depot.

Inside Durand's Historic RR YMCA Building

Take a look inside the historic Durand RR YMCA Building after its restoration

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

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