Monday, November 6, 2017

Ghost City

It was eerily desolate, 
a perfect place for a pre-Halloween haunt: 
Detroit, Michigan. 

I'm a backseat photographer....35th and Michigan. 

In our quest to find something for tourists to do in Michigan 
(there isn't much, believe me,) 
we ventured toward Detroit. 

Just another boarded up building. 

Driving into the city was like driving through a ghost town. 
We hardly saw a soul. 
But we did see a lot of abandonment. 

Sunday afternoon and the visitor center was closed?
I guess tourists don't tour Detroit on weekends...or in October...or ever?

One of our searches was for the  Boston-Edison 'historic district.'
We thought that sounded promising. 

Most homes in the Boston - Edison neighborhood were built between 1905 and 1925. 

What we found at the Boston-Edison historic district was 
some really cool home architecture in various states of repair.  

Probably the most famous home is the one time home of Henry Ford and his wife, 1908-1915. 

A gorgeous home might be right next to something completely deteriorated. 
Home sale listings here range from over 1 million down to $175,000, 
that's quite a span in one neighborhood. 
I'm not sure how that works socially. 

Welcome to Detroit

We visited some other sites that sounded promising - which weren't.  
And we only felt safe exiting the car at one location - 
it was the one place we found a handful of other people doing Sunday afternoon things:  
The Detroit Waterfront. 

GM World Headquarters  - Those 3 peeps are with me. 
General Motors invested in a nice waterfront walk here 
just outside their Renaissance Center - 
 a group of 7 interconnected skyscrapers. 

The Renaissance Center, Detroit

My second impression of Detroit after 'Ghost Town' 
was how small it was in comparison to Philadelphia. 
In Philly, overall the skyscrapers are taller and tightly packed in. 
But I guess land is cheaper here so there is no need to build high and tight. 

Just across the bridge is Canada, 
but we didn't think to bring our passports along. 
In post research I learned that Detroit has lost over half its population! 
1950 1.8 million people, 2016 672,000 people. 
That explains the Ghost Town effect 
and the label of worst US city to live in. 

Bagley Pedestrian Bridge

It really is a sad situation. 
With little industry there is no tax base 
to help pay for maintenance of parks and streets 
and of course...people!  

The only tourists in Detroit. 

If you are into abandoned photography - get yourself to Detroit, and pack some heat. 

More of my images from Detroit can be found here. 


Wayne said...

This Old House recently did a season from Detroit. No hiding the abandonment facts, but some neighborhoods are slowly being rebuilt. The houses had great character and details, it's a shame to let them go.

MadSnapper said...

we have seen the streets of Detroit on specials about how bad it is and on news programs. your photos tell the sad, sad story perfectly. all of this caused by allowing autos to come in so cheaply that the big 3 could not stand up to it.