The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

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Prince George
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The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

#1 Post by Prince George » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:01 pm

While poking around for images of the ruined buildings in the Bronx & Brooklyn, I stumbled on a link to a site that documented the urban decay of Detroit since the 70s. The images are fascinating, but what was especially interesting was the angle that the photographer was coming from:
In the summer of 1971, I returned to Detroit after two and a half years in Africa, the Middle East and Europe where I had visited numerous ancient ruins.

Detroit was restive, as the social revolutions of the late 60's played out their effects, and in transformation as its population began vacating the city to the surrounding suburbs.

Still, Detroit seemed little changed from its model developed in the teens of the 20th Century when it became the preeminent industrial city in the world with its accompanying wealth and large home owning middle class.

Unseen to the eye, during that hazy summer, immense economic, social and political forces, that had been set in motion years prior, were to render large sections of the city and its industrial structures into ruination. Could one be instantly transported from that time forward twenty year it would appear as if large areas of the city had been carpet bombed leaving behind huge hulking ruins -- ruins larger and more extensive than those I found in my travels to Zimbabwe, El Tajin, Ephesus, Athens, or Rome.

Put aside their negative image, so sensationalized by a self flagellating media, and view them, for a moment, as you might one of the celebrated ruins of the world. Then you may come to understand why I call them The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit.
Many fabulous older buildings standing idle and empty, while the city almost actively ignores them, fascinating stuff - The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

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Wayno
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Re: The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

#2 Post by Wayno » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:21 am

some beaut old buildings there. such a shame...
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Re: The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

#3 Post by Will » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:57 pm

Thanks for sharing this thread Prince George.

I am amazed that such beautiful buildings can be allowed to decay.

This thread should also serve as a warning for those who still advocate the continued expansion of our suburbs.

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Re: The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

#4 Post by Aidan » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:18 pm

Will wrote:Thanks for sharing this thread Prince George.

I am amazed that such beautiful buildings can be allowed to decay.

This thread should also serve as a warning for those who still advocate the continued expansion of our suburbs.
No it shouldn't. It should be a warning for those who don't think a good suburban rail system is important.
Just build it wrote:Bye Union Hall. I'll see you in another life, when we are both cats.

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Re: The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

#5 Post by AG » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:36 am

Aidan wrote:
Will wrote:Thanks for sharing this thread Prince George.

I am amazed that such beautiful buildings can be allowed to decay.

This thread should also serve as a warning for those who still advocate the continued expansion of our suburbs.
No it shouldn't. It should be a warning for those who don't think a good suburban rail system is important.
What both of you seem to miss is that Detroit's population is declining. Detroit's population has been on the decline since the 1970s along with the US automobile sector, and so the issue is a lot deeper than simply building a better rail system. There are entire suburbs that are empty or near empty, and some of Detroit's largest structures have been demolished including what was once the world's second largest department store, the J L Hudson (which was 133m tall).

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Re: The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

#6 Post by Howie » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:08 am

Amazing collection of photographs. Thanks for sharing.

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