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View Full Version : Extraordinary photographs documenting the decline of Detroit


Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:50 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293734015622/United-Artists-Theater-in-006.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173038)
The ruined Spanish-Gothic interior of the United Artists Theater in Detroit. The cinema was built in 1928 by C Howard Crane, and finally closed in 1974

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:50 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797765013/East-Methodist-Church-011.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173064)
East Methodist Church

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:51 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293734013528/Woodward-Avenue-Presbyter-004.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173040)
Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church, built in the Gothic revival style in 1911

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:51 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797762861/East-Side-Public-Library-009.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173042)
East Side Public Library

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:51 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797769237/Light-Court-Farwell-Build-015.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173044)
Light Court, Farwell Building

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:51 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797761802/Michigan-Central-Station-008.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173036)
Michigan Central Station

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:52 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797767055/Dentist-Cabinet-Broderick-013.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173048)
Dentist Cabinet, Broderick Tower

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:52 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293734011219/biology-classroom-at-Geor-002.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173050)
The biology classroom at George W Ferris School in the Detroit suburb of Highland Park

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:52 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797763882/St-Christopher-House-ex-P-010.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173052)
St Christopher House, ex-Public Library

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:53 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293734012350/The-ballroom-of-the-15-fl-003.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173046)
The ballroom of the 15-floor art-deco Lee Plaza Hotel, an apartment building with hotel services built in 1929 and derelict since the early 1990s

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:53 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797766087/Michigan-Theatre-012.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173056)
Michigan Theatre

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:53 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797770321/View-of-Woodward-Avenue-f-016.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173058)
View of Woodward Avenue from the Broderick Tower

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:53 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293734009996/Vanity-Ballroom-001.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173062)
Detroit’s Vanity Ballroom with its unsalvaged art deco chandeliers. Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey once played here.

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:54 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293734014517/William-Livingstone-House-005.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173060)
William Livingstone House, Brush Park, a French Renaissance-style house designed by Albert Kahn in 1893 and demolished since this photograph was taken

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:54 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797768048/Waiting-hall-Michigan-Cen-014.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173054)
Waiting hall, Michigan Central Station

Lin Lin
Jan 2nd, 2011, 01:01 AM
heartbreaking:sad:

Direwolf
Jan 2nd, 2011, 03:56 AM
What happened?
They're all so amazing.

And those books.

Wigglytuff
Jan 2nd, 2011, 04:36 AM
Wow, many of those images look worse or as bad as the images on , life after people!

doni1212
Jan 2nd, 2011, 07:47 AM
This is captivating and so sad. My goodness!

Melange
Jan 2nd, 2011, 09:54 AM
http://cache4.asset-cache.net/xc/76315846.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF87892102A727B1636DE2E691ED5CE1A4FA79F4 446B0DCAC11DCA310AAC022277ACC2A6

Bismarck.
Jan 2nd, 2011, 10:13 AM
Shame. I never knew Detroit had such great architecture.

skanky~skanketta
Jan 2nd, 2011, 03:21 PM
All those pianos!

duhcity
Jan 2nd, 2011, 04:49 PM
There are parts of the city that are fine.
Theres just not enough money or interest to restore these places.

Pureracket
Jan 2nd, 2011, 09:55 PM
When I saw them, I thought of scenes from a Stephen King novel.

Cineast
Jan 2nd, 2011, 11:38 PM
Detroit's feral houses (http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2009/07/feral-houses.html)

Valanga
Jan 2nd, 2011, 11:41 PM
Why detroit? Is detroit a poor city or what?

Lin Lin
Jan 2nd, 2011, 11:47 PM
Why detroit? Is detroit a poor city or what?

Detroit was once called the Motor City,which was famous of its auto industry.but the world crisis shattered the city's industry these years,so it's declining,I reckon.:sad:

Mr.Sharapova
Jan 3rd, 2011, 12:02 AM
Such a shame!

In the beginning I was like ugh a Huge Horror Movie could be shot out there!

Cineast
Jan 3rd, 2011, 01:15 AM
Actually, it's been declining for decades. I don't know if the 2010 census figures for cities have been released, but the population figures previous censuses:

1950: 1,849,566
2000: 951,270

Indeed, most of the big cities in the Northeast and Midwest have lost substantial percentages of their population since 1950, in part because after World War II, everybody wanted their own place, leading to the boom in the suburbs, and probably also wanting to escape from the cities. Big-city government in the US seems to be extremely a one-party affair, with immigrant community/racial differences (it's not just a white/black/Hispanic thing; when Tom Menino was elected Mayor of Boston 15 or so years ago it was remarked how this was the first time in decades the city didn't have a mayor of Irish descent) standing in place of political party differences, and the political machines leading to endemic corruption. Philadelphia and Chicago have each lost about a quarter of their population since 1950; in Boston, Cincinnati, and Baltimore it's close to a third; the decline in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland is about half; and in St. Louis it's about 60%. Southern and western cities, as far as I know, didn't get the waves of immigrants at the end of the 19th century that led to the machine politics of the east, and they're getting a lot of the migration from the older cities of the east, so a lot of them are still growing by leaps and bounds. The population of the metropolitan areas, however, is not decreasing.

If you want to read an interesting and thought-provoking article on the problems facing the old cities of the Northeast, including Detroit, I can thoroughly recommend the City Journal (http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_4_urban-reform.html) web site.

Direwolf
Jan 6th, 2011, 05:00 PM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797768048/Waiting-hall-Michigan-Cen-014.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173054)
Waiting hall, Michigan Central Station

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797761802/Michigan-Central-Station-008.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173036)
Michigan Central Station

Is this the same place where Transformers were filmed?

miffedmax
Jan 6th, 2011, 06:27 PM
Actually, it's been declining for decades. I don't know if the 2010 census figures for cities have been released, but the population figures previous censuses:

1950: 1,849,566
2000: 951,270

Indeed, most of the big cities in the Northeast and Midwest have lost substantial percentages of their population since 1950, in part because after World War II, everybody wanted their own place, leading to the boom in the suburbs, and probably also wanting to escape from the cities. Big-city government in the US seems to be extremely a one-party affair, with immigrant community/racial differences (it's not just a white/black/Hispanic thing; when Tom Menino was elected Mayor of Boston 15 or so years ago it was remarked how this was the first time in decades the city didn't have a mayor of Irish descent) standing in place of political party differences, and the political machines leading to endemic corruption. Philadelphia and Chicago have each lost about a quarter of their population since 1950; in Boston, Cincinnati, and Baltimore it's close to a third; the decline in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland is about half; and in St. Louis it's about 60%. Southern and western cities, as far as I know, didn't get the waves of immigrants at the end of the 19th century that led to the machine politics of the east, and they're getting a lot of the migration from the older cities of the east, so a lot of them are still growing by leaps and bounds. The population of the metropolitan areas, however, is not decreasing.

If you want to read an interesting and thought-provoking article on the problems facing the old cities of the Northeast, including Detroit, I can thoroughly recommend the City Journal (http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_4_urban-reform.html) web site.

It also has a lot to do with the decline of America as a major industrial power, and the fact that technology means that such manufacturing as we still do requires less labor.

It's somewhat ironic, too, that as you mention, in some ways Detroit killed itself. In its efforts to put everybody in the US in a car (or even two), the Motor City made suburban sprawl possible--and meant that nobody had to live within walking or bus distance of their job any more.

The big flaw in the plan--besides everybody who used to live and work in Detroit moving to the suburbs--was, of course, that nobody predicted we'd all be buying our cars from the Japanese and Koreans one day.

(And yes, Southern cities have grown at the expense of northern ones, but a lot of Southern city growth is from immigrants and the growth of most southern cities is also dwarfed by the growth of their suburbs).

ptkten
Jan 6th, 2011, 08:37 PM
Miffedmax, you make a great point about the car killing Detroit.

In addition to the point you made, Detroit was destroyed because it is a much more sprawling city than some of the other northeastern cities because of the auto industry. There's none of the incentives to living in Detroit as there are in other big cities because there aren't as many walkable neighborhoods and they never built up a good public transportation system. Downtowns in other cities that have struggled with population decline such as Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC are now experiencing population growth because young urban professionals and retired people want to be in places where there is a lot of action and it's easy to get around without having a car. Detroit doesn't have these positive things about living in a city but still has all of the hassles of living in a city. It's unfortunate that its greatest strength also caused the eventual downfall of the city.

Crazy Canuck
Jan 6th, 2011, 09:02 PM
Beautiful photos. Tragic, but beautiful. It looks like Detroit's seen a war... I suppose that it has, really.

I saw a similar exhibit online a while ago, which compared Detroit after world war 2 versus today to Hiroshima in the same time periods. The photographs weren't quite as stunning for that one.

Crazy Canuck
Jan 6th, 2011, 09:06 PM
It was this: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2349112/posts

Maybe the photos here aren't better... just bigger. And there are probably better websites on which to find the same thing than the "free republic", but I'm lazy and it's the first one that came up on google. Also, I'm not sure that it's of much use to try to make a political point there, but whatever. I just like the photos.

EDIT - Eh, they look better over here : http://buzzinn.net/hiroshima-and-detroit-then-and-now/

miffedmax
Jan 7th, 2011, 09:22 PM
Yeah, speaking of Detroit's decline, one of the things that's happened is huge numbers of GM and Chrysler jobs (not so sure about Ford) have moved to Canada after NAFTA--because then they don't have to pay for healthcare benefits. Something that rarely comes up in the debate over healthcare. Now, we're not talking millions of jobs, but we are talking thousands, and it does make me wonder if the US is less competitive in other industries as well because we insist on private healthcare. I get the feeling this might be the case.

Raz0r
Jan 8th, 2011, 01:09 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/31/1293797765013/East-Methodist-Church-011.jpg (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit?picture=370173064)
East Methodist Church

"And You Shall Say God Did It." :sobbing:

Keadz
Jan 8th, 2011, 02:06 AM
Some beautiful old buildings there, hope one day that the city will be restored to its previous self. In saying that, I think you will find similar images across major cities around the world. A lot of these types of historical buildings sit abandoned.

Makes for fanstastic photography though, would love to explore these types of places.

ptkten
Jan 8th, 2011, 02:28 AM
49 Years Of Leftist Policies: Detroit In Ruins

1hhJ_49leBw

:rolleyes: I get so frustrated when people try to bring politics into this. The reasons for Detroit's decline are so much more complicated than breaking it down into liberal or conservative issues. Right leaning politicians have also done their part to destroy inner city African-American communities around this country including Detroit with their ridiculously strict drug laws so it's insincere to blame it only on "leftist policies"

Beat
Jan 8th, 2011, 04:41 PM
amazing images, despite their tragic content.