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Left Behind: The Ruins of Detroit

Jan 20, 2011

by Alison Feldmann

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“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension. The state of ruin is essentially a temporary situation that happens at some point, the volatile result of change of era and the fall of empires. Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.”

So decrees the mission statement of photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, authors of The Ruins of Detroit. These intrepid two have approached the waning city of Detroit as a fallen American colossus, navigating buckling floors, curlicued shards of lead paint and dust covered relics they document the industrial capital’s last gasp. The gas lights and auto plants that once pulsed as a beacon of twentieth century gumption and ingenuity are presently abandoned. “Ghost town” status is closing in.

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Contemplating abandoned cities and the lost art of another age brings to mind ancient civilizations like the Maya or Inca, not a contemporary American city. It’s startling to see the infrastructure of a metropolis left to crumble, especially when opulence isn’t such a distant memory.

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Marchand and Meffre have sifted through debris in abandoned courthouses, churches, schools, dentist offices, police stations, jails, public libraries and swimming pools, all of which have most of their original fixtures and fittings intact. In an interview with The Observer, Meffre states that, “As Europeans, we were looking with an outsider’s eye, which made downtown Detroit seem even more strange and dramatic. We are not used to seeing empty buildings left intact.  In the Vanity ballroom alone, we saw four giant art deco chandeliers, beautiful objects, each one unique. It was almost unbelievable that they could still be there. It is as if America has no sense of its own architectural history and culture.”

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Looking beyond all the foregone treasures, the crumbling infrastructure, and the staggering rehabilitation necessary to revive a city of this scale, there lies a heady question: Does every city need a return to relevance? Is rehabilitation of ghost towns even possible or, dare I say, necessary? Should we quietly retreat as cities turn to dust, looking toward something less fragile?

Learn more about the men behind these desolate images with this interview in The Observer, and be sure to spend some time with their melancholy photographs of a city’s last gasp.

History on the Blog | Vintage Category

270 comments

  • derinmavi

    derinmavi said 6 years ago

    I was amazed when I saw them in a website of one of the national newspapers here in Turkey.

  • CathodeBlue

    CathodeBlue said 6 years ago

    Very arresting imagery. Depressing, yet such beautiful photos.

  • PetitVillage

    PetitVillage said 6 years ago

    This is really stunning, it's like... it's like traveling to the Atlantide, it's so beautiful.

  • threepeats

    threepeats said 6 years ago

    Sad and beautiful at the same time!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Beautiful buildings I really love how the interiors are so ghostly. I think its a shame that a lot of these buildings loose their original features when renovated.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    Looking through English eyes, this scale of waste, of abandoning the outdated in order to replace with the modern, seems typically American. In this small & overcrowded island we simply don't have the room to leave old buildings to fall apart & move on to new ones, they HAVE to be revamped, renovated & reused. It strikes me that architectural salvage is a business waiting to happen over there!

  • Scrapboarding

    Scrapboarding said 6 years ago

    The texture and moldings are what make it so unique and interesting to me.

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace said 6 years ago

    wow how sad and disturbing. It looks as if is from a war torn country Such a shame to let such beauty go to ruin

  • VeraVague

    VeraVague said 6 years ago

    wow... i was just looking at this book today! the pictures are beautiful and tragic... and right in my backyard. thanks, alison!

  • goldnuggets

    goldnuggets said 6 years ago

    This looks like leaving and old person die of starvation.

  • CrayonHall

    CrayonHall said 6 years ago

    Haunting and beautiful imagery at the same time. It's amazing at what emotion these stills evoke.

  • TheVinylChalkboard

    TheVinylChalkboard said 6 years ago

    So haunting yet so gorgeous at the same time!

  • bestvintagethrift

    bestvintagethrift said 6 years ago

    Some buildings, like people, doesn't get any RESPECT.

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 6 years ago

    such wonderful architecture...sad!

  • MobiusMonkey

    MobiusMonkey said 6 years ago

    My great grandfather Ernest Surridge did the plaster in the classic Hudson Building of Detroit. It's a shame that they tore down that magnificent landmark... but leave up abandoned shack houses.... absolutely arresting and romantic photos of Detroit, I'm a big fan of "Ruins of Detroit"

  • StudioZen

    StudioZen said 6 years ago

    So curiously beautiful, yet sad. Thank you for sharing these amazing images, Alison.

  • folkfancies06

    folkfancies06 said 6 years ago

    I don't see the beauty in it. All I see is death, ruins, and abandonment. Very sad!

  • scattered

    scattered said 6 years ago

    I just can't even imagine why such a magnificent structure would be left to decay. shameful

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    Wow...so sad! What beautiful architecture!

  • KeepEvolving

    KeepEvolving said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous and sad.

  • UrbArchaeology

    UrbArchaeology said 6 years ago

    As a devotee of urban exploration, I do absolutely see beauty in entropy and the eventual, inevitable decay of anything human hands can build.

  • remodernseries

    remodernseries said 6 years ago

    i love these photos. i have a collection photographs of abandoned, overgrown, iced over bungalows in detroit. it's elegiac and it's exquisite, too. i think it's one of the few urban areas in the u.s. that's literally becoming rural. it's a testament to the ephemeral quality of existence. we take a lot for granted and we sure waste a lot, too.

  • camstudiostore

    camstudiostore said 6 years ago

    In my backyard, the beautiful and haunting D....

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    So hauntingly magical, I love when you share these! Thank you!

  • granatina

    granatina said 6 years ago

    Thanks for this great article! I'm living in Hungary, so far-far away from Detroit, but in the last few weeks in different conversations I heard a lot about this kind of "shrinking" cities ... I was curious to see what is it like? ... Very unsettling.

  • beliz82

    beliz82 said 6 years ago

    Very sad but beautiful architecture

  • QuietStorytellers

    QuietStorytellers said 6 years ago

    My head understands the dynamics that flared and faltered in Detroit; but my heart is saddened. Yet I still thank you, etsy, for showing me these haunting pictures.

  • DaniCalve

    DaniCalve said 6 years ago

    Awesome pictures of a city left in dust. The broken piano's and glass tell stories of life and dreams shattered. Thanks for keeping the images alive.

  • QueenofCuffs

    QueenofCuffs said 6 years ago

    These photographs are things of beauty in themselves but this story is heartbreaking. I had to read a second time to take it all in. What a waste and how sad to abandon history. The buildings weep.

  • strongfaith79

    strongfaith79 said 6 years ago

    We as Americans have lost our scense of nostalgia and value. We throw away SO much that could be made beautiful again chasing new and "better" things instead of treasuring what we have and striving to make those things last.

  • blueflowervintage

    blueflowervintage said 6 years ago

    My friend sent me a link to the article in the Observer at the New Year and it yes, just a heart breaking book. But Detroit's decline has occurred over a 40 year time frame, and though it has ghostly buildings and a shrunken population and overwhelming problems, it is not a ghost town. People live there. I don't think we have the option of abandoning it. Maybe in another 40 years the situation will not be so bleak. I do share the European bafflement at the lack of respect Americans have for their own historic treasures though. Historic preservation is always a fight and always underfunded. It's just balmy!

  • strongfaith79

    strongfaith79 said 6 years ago

    Speaking in general about our culture, of course. There are those in America that DO appreciate the value of history not only here, but in all the countries our forefathers traveled here from in order to make better lives for us. The pictures just make me sad...

  • therustyschwinn

    therustyschwinn said 6 years ago

    Incredible. I would love to explore those old buildings for myself!

  • BirdsChasingBugs

    BirdsChasingBugs said 6 years ago

    Beautifully tragic. I really admire photography like this. It's such an understatedly gutsy art.

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 6 years ago

    Wow... The photography is amazing. Very interesting and sad, also.

  • BlkSheepProductions

    BlkSheepProductions said 6 years ago

    Being located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- decaying abandoned buildings are *usually* an everyday experience for us. (Though Detroit is a much different beast from Pittsburgh) It causes numerous debates between us and our friends on rehabilitation, gentrification, proper building practices, the economic situation of the city, and the temporary status of life. Beautiful photos, well done. Always food for thought.

  • daydreamjewels

    daydreamjewels said 6 years ago

    Very sad and yes, things can change :(

  • loopyboopy

    loopyboopy said 6 years ago

    One of the many reasons I love living in New Orleans, the culture here truly embraces it's history and historical architecture and works to save it, seeing it as something of great value. On the other hand I grew up in Detroit and have personally seen some of this urban decay with my own eyes and it is very sad indeed. I would just like to add that Detroit is far from a ghost town (I still go to visit my family) There is still plenty that is being preserved. I just don't think they have the people or the money to restore it to it's original granduer. Definetly gonna be checking out this book.

  • EndearingEphemera

    EndearingEphemera said 6 years ago

    Detroit truly is a heartbreak to drive through, depending on the area.

  • SweetHeirlooms

    SweetHeirlooms said 6 years ago

    Saddening and beautiful all at the same time remarkable photos

  • musegrrrl

    musegrrrl said 6 years ago

    I love these photos! My comment is more towards mazedasastoat. These buildings (and Detroit) are not being "abandoned for new things." The abandonment of Detroit is because of a lack of jobs and because we put all of our eggs in the auto industry basket. There are many people (especially artists) working to repurpose many of the abandoned buildings (and the city of Detroit as a whole) after the economic collapse and the many failures of the auto industry. Please don't generalize. America, Michigan, even Detroit are very large and diverse places. Many people like to throw things out, but there are just as many of us here who appreciate and want to restore these beautiful old buildings. Check out articles like http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111785752 to get a better idea of what's really going on. I love Detroit!

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 6 years ago

    Wow! Such dramatic photos!

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 6 years ago

    The photo's are hauntingly beautiful ~ the abandonment of people in need is hauntingly sad

  • GreenHomeMaine

    GreenHomeMaine said 6 years ago

    WOW! Thank you.

  • theHouseAcrosstheBay

    theHouseAcrosstheBay said 6 years ago

    As someone who was born and raised in Detroit, these images are so bittersweet. I remember Detroit in all its gradeur. It was a thrilling place to be. Note to MobiusMonkey whose great grandfather did the plaster in the old Hudson's building - that building and everything it was lives in the hearts of many. Your great grandfather and his work is not forgotten.

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 6 years ago

    So sad. I used to live in MI.

  • AloArt

    AloArt said 6 years ago

    THANK YOU for sharing this! Spent so many happy Sundays in Detroit growing up, and now my Great Aunt's entire neighborhood doesn't exist. This book is amazing-- On a happy note, property is now so cheap in Detroit that young creative and industrious folks are buying up buildings and transforming them. I've also heard of a project that would plant whole abandoned blocks in vegetables---here's to a NEW Detroit in the 21st Century.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 6 years ago

    These photos (and buildings) are beautiful... and yet it makes me so sad to see bits and pieces of history in such decay.

  • LittleGreenSquirrel

    LittleGreenSquirrel said 6 years ago

    For more interesting images along these lines may I recommend a shop I cam across recently? Look at the shop sections for Detroit and Gary, Indiana. http://www.etsy.com/shop/CareyPrimeau?ref=top_trail Thanks for this article. Romantic, nostalgic and chilling all at the same time.

  • PeekoApparel

    PeekoApparel said 6 years ago

    My jaw just dropped! i have never wanted so badly to go to detroit as i do NOW! i am just getting ideas of photoshoots... photoshoots and photoshoots!

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 6 years ago

    I am going to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Detroit in March...I want to go see some of these buildings. They look amazing inside

  • ThePuppetCoven

    ThePuppetCoven said 6 years ago

    This is so AWESOME )))

  • tripperdungan

    tripperdungan said 6 years ago

    Wow what amazing pictures. I just saw a picture spread in Juxtapose magazine about artist in Detroit making art out of the ruins.

  • AllUsedUp

    AllUsedUp said 6 years ago

    It's like a the old TV show in the 60's Twilight Zone. As if life just stopped, humans are gone. Strangely beautiful.

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 6 years ago

    Awesome!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Very sad that our society is a throw away! More activists are needed to preserve our cities!

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful photos! Really cool article.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    hauntingly beautiful

  • arsniccandy

    arsniccandy said 6 years ago

    Those are some awesome fotos:)

  • dandeliondaydreamer

    dandeliondaydreamer said 6 years ago

    Talk about awesome backdrops for a vintage shoot! :)

  • SaffronColoredPony

    SaffronColoredPony said 6 years ago

    i was on one of the last trains to come through the detroit train station before it closed. It was pretty much abandoned and hauntingly beautiful then. One of my favorite buildings. there are some shining star comeback buildings, so while we may be down~we're not out!

  • RonH

    RonH said 6 years ago

    Neglect and ruin are not unique to Detroit. I can remember seeing buildings in the Bronx and Jersey City that looked quite similar. Elis Island was abandoned until notice was made. Efforts are being made to save some of these examples but the economy in general and in Michigan specifically is slowing that. While these buildings still stand it is a constant reminder of our past, of a more prosperous time that possessed a greater grace than the slick spires that might replace them.

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    Stunning. Amazing. Heartrending. Cautionary. And uplifting to hear of the efforts of those to save and repurpose these special places. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • ARomansCreation

    ARomansCreation said 6 years ago

    Each image has it's own story to tell. I really enjoyed these.

  • fugudesigns

    fugudesigns said 6 years ago

    My vintage Detroit map bracelet includes the old Hudson's building and just misses the Free Press Bldg. Det. circa 1939. We used to stand near White Castle for the Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade when I was a kid. Saw them blowing up Hudson's on CNN while I was in Madrid. Ouch!

  • littleputbooks

    littleputbooks said 6 years ago

    Exquisitely beautiful photography, so much drama and beauty, all in one.

  • aTimelessRomance

    aTimelessRomance said 6 years ago

    To think I have pictures of the Warren and detroit area in 1928[of Park st.], of southfield freeway as it was set in to the area in the 1970's. To see the historical beauty go to the wayside, so sad. Really enjoyed looking at the photos, Thankyou, Jean

  • aluihlein

    aluihlein said 6 years ago

    Andrew Moore is an artist that has been working in Detroit, documenting the decayed city for the last few years. He first happened upon the very same clock during that time. I find it suspicious that Marchand and Meffre have reiterated Moore's concepts and found recognition for carbon copy images. Marchand and Meffre may just be two photographers that failed to research contemporary artists in their projected genre, or they may have simply failed to notice that the artist they decided to mimic has published his work and sold it in numerous American galleries. Their comments on American sensitivity to history is narrow-minded, especially when considering artists such as Moore, that clearly define our inclusion in global ruin-worship. For those that are interested in the depiction of Detroit and other American epicenters of industry that have now fallen into immaculate despair, please take a look at Andrew Moore's work, as he represents an American not blind to the U.S. impact on history. His images are iconic, and have certainly not gone so unnoticed by Americans to warrant that our modern achievements are ignored or unknown.

  • camstudiostore

    camstudiostore said 6 years ago

    fyi... shown in the book are the David Whitney Building which will begin renovation soon and the Fort Shelby Hotel which is in process of renovation, not sure if the hotel is complete yet. And the Book Cadillac Hotel has been renovated and it's beautiful!! Yeay Detroit!

  • Queenadaritz

    Queenadaritz said 6 years ago

    I live near St.Louis. The same thing is evedent there too, and it is very sad.I can see no beauty in all of this destruction and neglect.----Sorry but that's how I feel.

  • scrapyardgirl

    scrapyardgirl said 6 years ago

    I saw the exhibition at the Akron Art Museum. It is a sad and beautiful body of work. I wished I could have scavenged so many objects from the sites.

  • loopyboopy

    loopyboopy said 6 years ago

    I would ask that people please not judge the people of Detroit, or other decaying urban dwellings where similar neglect is happening. Since the recession many of my friends and family have lost their jobs and thier homes. When people are struggling just to put roofs over thier heads or food in thier families mouths historical architecture takes a back burner. Detroit and much of Michigan, since loosing the auto industry has suffered more than other American cities. I don't think this is a refelction on the people of Detroit but more a reflection of what is a priority when things get tough for people.

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 6 years ago

    hauntingly beautiful photos...

  • GiantFlea

    GiantFlea said 6 years ago

    While I find ruin porn to be beautiful and I like rust as much as the next guy these images are getting a little old to Detroiters. They grab quick oohs an ahs and make it into magazines. I think they upstage modern Detroit in the here and now. It's like living in the shadow of a really big ghost.

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 6 years ago

    I look at those images and try to imagine what they were like when they were in their prime.

  • cattuslavandula

    cattuslavandula said 6 years ago

    Detroit is doing something unusual. It's shrinking, cutting loose areas that are under populated. In some areas, there are only a few houses on a street; the rest have been demolished or stand decaying. Commercial buildings melt into the ground in other areas, and roads dead end in fields where factories once stood. The idea of abandoning swatches of the city is not without controversy. http://www.globalshift.org/2010/03/11/detroit-the-incredible-shrinking-city/

  • cattuslavandula

    cattuslavandula said 6 years ago

    Yet, just minutes away from the city... http://www.lakehomesusa.com/waterfront/michigan/detroit-grosse-point-st-clair-shores-wyandotte-dearborn-mount-clemens/mls3yd-MIREAL-31025672

  • CosmicFirefly

    CosmicFirefly said 6 years ago

    I love abandoned buildings

  • ralynn73

    ralynn73 said 6 years ago

    The photos remind me of a show on History Chanel of an abandoned city after nuclear war. I wonder what will be done with all the space.

  • BeatificBijoux

    BeatificBijoux said 6 years ago

    I refrained from commenting earlier, but I feel I have to respond. Please quit scolding Detroit for her decay. What you see is a direct result of severe economic depression, not wantonness. And for the record, Detroit is not a ghost town. Depressed it may be, but dead it is not.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    Well put, remodernseries. All things pass.

  • absintheshoppe

    absintheshoppe said 6 years ago

    so beautiful and ephemeral.. a memento mori of old Detroit...

  • lulusnest

    lulusnest said 6 years ago

    Very beautiful and sad at the same time. To think of all the life and prosperity that once filled those abandoned buildings.

  • marsia

    marsia said 6 years ago

    I like what loopyboopy says about this. But I just love the photograph of the peeling paint and the cracked windows. The photographs capture the beauty in decay and preserve it.

  • littlewindmills

    littlewindmills said 6 years ago

    Last gasp? Really?!

  • empressjade

    empressjade said 6 years ago

    It makes me crazy that some savvy Salvagers aren't at least saving the trim and the fixtures. In my town every board and every piece of plaster would be lovingly striped off. Even the loose bricks are saleable

  • GiantFlea

    GiantFlea said 6 years ago

    There are a ton of scrappers in Detroit. People steal the copper out of street lights and then the signals don't work and it's dangerous for kids crossing the street. Entire copper roofs get stolen, support beams get ripped out and buildings collapse. Everyone likes to make a dollar but it's not right. I've seen some things blatantly sold right here on etsy, straight out of historical buildings in Detroit.

  • meaicp

    meaicp said 6 years ago

    Yes - Detroit can be, and is, a relevant city. The question we need to ask is "What is the appropriate scale of a city?" The size of cities is the real issue. Lots of cities, not just Detroit, should face that question head on and answer it honestly.

  • ScrapArcs

    ScrapArcs said 6 years ago

    It must be surreal to watch a major metropolitan city slide into such abandonment. I have done many photographic tours of small towns that are becoming ghost towns, but have held on to some life - much like Detroit, I suppose, but on a smaller scale. What's often more shocking is realizing how recently many of these buildings were in occupied use. I wonder if many of these places were in use only 10 or 20 years ago.

  • TheOccultistLair

    TheOccultistLair said 6 years ago

    a building becomes a theatrical demonstration of its functional ideal and in time...what remains is a glimpse of a past yet to be reborn.... "Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” well done...a good read

  • Kokolele

    Kokolele said 6 years ago

    ~ ♥ ~ no words

  • audtomaton

    audtomaton said 6 years ago

    Beautiful photos, but it's been done before, intrepid Europeans... Detroit is complex but somehow it always gets reduced to a photos of Michigan Central Station. And words like desolate, turning to dust... ugh. Ghost town?! There are still over 900K people living there!

  • thepapermoonstudio

    thepapermoonstudio said 6 years ago

    Stunning work. Sad also.

  • TinfenaStudio

    TinfenaStudio said 6 years ago

    The work is beautiful and eerie, the message should encourage us to BUY AMERICAN, although I'm not sure it was the intent...

  • tfamily5

    tfamily5 said 6 years ago

    beautiful photos.

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 6 years ago

    It is amazing to me to see such oppulence so degraded. I have a favorite local photographer who climbs into the abandon and takes similar shots! it is amazing and printed on metalic paper... breathtaking! thank you for posting this and I agree with tinfenastudio... buy American and bring back the beauty!

  • Zozuz

    Zozuz said 6 years ago

    The sad beauty of abandoned buildings...

  • CrudeThings

    CrudeThings said 6 years ago

    i will never get sick of seeing these images online, really beautiful, creepy & somewhat haunting

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 6 years ago

    It just breaks my heart to see these pictures. I love old buildings and sometimes sit and wonder what they must have been like when they were full of people....how the hustle and bustle of daily life was like back in the day.

  • tuckooandmoocow

    tuckooandmoocow said 6 years ago

    This is an interesting piece. "Looking beyond all the foregone treasures, the crumbling infrastructure, and the staggering rehabilitation necessary to revive a city of this scale, there lies a heady question: Does every city need a return to relevance? Is rehabilitation of ghost towns even possible or, dare I say, necessary? " While much of Detroit may be gone--simply vanished (look at it on Google Maps from above and see whole blocks with maybe one house) it's far from a complete ghost town. It does still have the possibility of being revitalized. These images are depressing and bleak, but they are only a part of Detroit. Glasgow was once known to have some of the worst slums in Europe and it has turned around to become a cultural hub. Maybe not back to the industrial powerhouse it once was, but it has come back. People in Detroit seem so much more open and willing to embrace change. There is a fair amount of art there. I think it could honestly make a comeback in the fashion of Glasgow.

  • economico

    economico said 6 years ago

    Wow it is hard to think that this exist so close to home. What a fascinating article. It must be so interesting to walk through these structures and imagine the people and the objects that were once there.

  • Road10

    Road10 said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this. touching.

  • artfields

    artfields said 6 years ago

    This is so sad for me. I spent much of my life in Detroit and loved the city. I still have friends and relatives in the suburbs around Detroit. Maybe it will yet rise out of the ashes.

  • destock

    destock said 6 years ago

    Tragic. But oh so beautifully photographed.

  • ThePidge

    ThePidge said 6 years ago

    With the sadness of decay I think there is a reassuring feeling of transience; that even our greatest fortress, built always with a sense of monument to our own cleverness and preservation, will in the end crumble back to nature.

  • EphemeraAndMore

    EphemeraAndMore said 6 years ago

    This is one of the most interesting posts ever. Amazing photography! Thanks! Brings back some memories of Detroit from 15 years ago.

  • HandmadeHandsome

    HandmadeHandsome said 6 years ago

    The city and the pictures are fascinating. I once stayed in that area for a couple of nights. In a hostel in a stand alone building in this urban dessert with a cafe downstairs that was full of life and optimism. Coming from the Netherlands where urban planning is everything it was an exceptional experience.

  • lovisetto

    lovisetto said 6 years ago

    The pictures are absolutely amazing!

  • maaretsinkko

    maaretsinkko said 6 years ago

    I was in the big D about 15 years ago and took startling photos of decaying facades. But nothing like this. On the contrary I also saw an exhibition of Van Gogh here. I could barely afford the $25 entry fee. A kind lady gave me two bread buns at the restaurant because I could only afford one. To me it is such a bittersweet place.

  • BeautyInAllThings

    BeautyInAllThings said 6 years ago

    absolutely beautiful .......but such a sham that they are in ruins

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    I looked at these pictures and thought of all the possibilities! What beautiful structure! Thanks for sharing,

  • Evajune

    Evajune said 6 years ago

    That is so sad. I wish we could preserve and treasure this beautiful landmarks. It could bring tourism and revenue back to Detroit.

  • folkmew

    folkmew said 6 years ago

    @Musegrrl (and others who defended Detroit) I was glad to read of at least some hope and revival! Thanks. I do think the images in the book are haunting and beautiful but they are almost too sad for me to look at. When I was little we went to the downtown Detroit Hudson's store at Christmas to see the big displays (one year there was even a "ride"). I also remember the downtown library with the huge globe and the wonderful Children's Room. (So many books! Or at least so it seemed to me then) In high school I went to Detroit fairly often - usually to Greektown, but sometimes to the excellent Detroit Institute of Arts.(If Detroit truly became ghost town would they be able to save the Diego Rievera murals!?) I'd hate to think Detroit would truly become a ghost town. These pictures are beautiful in a horrible way but almost too painful to look at.

  • ModernMode

    ModernMode said 6 years ago

    Wow, I'm pretty sure I was just reading about these photos in an old issue of National Geographic this morning. What a coincidence! I agree, the photos are haunting and tragic, but there's definitely something to be said for watching beautiful things dissolve, really reminds you that nothing is forever. I live in an historic neighborhood, and all the restrictions about how you can change things in and on your own house (even just to make them more eco-friendly) really preserve it as it was 120 years ago, but I often wonder how long that can be maintained. It is sad to see things go, but there is always new beauty springing up, often in unexpected places. These photos are an extraordinary reminder of that.

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 6 years ago

    Incredible! One of my favorite things about Europe is the sense of history there - I never thought that we could have 'ruins'.

  • msnamaste

    msnamaste said 6 years ago

    Amazing photos! Even though my first response, like others, was a sadness, I find that these are beautiful moving shots. There is beauty in everything sometimes its just on a deeper level! Thank you for sharing!!!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    Great shots! GREAT backdrops for paintings. Ghost towns are inspiring in a way.

  • Ephemerallyyours

    Ephemerallyyours said 6 years ago

    There is so much life left here in Detroit. We have not abandoned her. The architecture here is stunning, and there is a want from the people to bring her back from the "ashes". Sad to see? yes. But, I am also in awe of the beauty that can be found here and it makes everyone here want to make it better. The beauty in these photos really shows the amazing history of Detroit. To me they tell the story....but the story's not finished, and people who live here, still have high hopes for what could be! These photos are stunning!!!

  • taylorseclectic

    taylorseclectic said 6 years ago

    Really fascinating photos. Reading the comments to this article, it is also interesting to hear from people who actually live in Detroit, and their defense of it. Those comments to me really help to bring the photos alive, and give a full sense of what is happening in Detroit.

  • urbansherpa

    urbansherpa said 6 years ago

    I grew up around Detroit, my Grandfather lived on Grosse Ile (an island to the south) and we would drive across from the Downriver area, which until recently, was always an Industrial area, and enthralled me as a child with it's looming buildings with broken windows, and large swatches of empty, fenced lots. I am excited to know that the art community is growing...Think Soho in NYC.(if you make it cool, they will come) Google 'Banksy' and the 'Packard Plant' to see how artists are affecting a change to the city. ARTIST POWER! GO DETROIT!

  • RageoftheAge

    RageoftheAge said 6 years ago

    Detroit is a treasure trove of unique architecture that only time could infuse with such character. I have a feeling investors will realize that, methodically buy properties and restore to the original state. I remember as a kid, a huge section of Louisville, on the west side of downtown, that was in the same state for years...avoided, left to delapidate, forgotten, but with atrium window and wrought iron facades that only hinted at the promise. Now there are entire blocks that have been completely restored, many added to the list in the National Registry of Historic Landmarks, and often visitors will come just to take them in. I wish the same for Detroit. It just takes a few courageous, high profile people who care about preservation of that which cannot be imitated to get it started.

  • springsnthings

    springsnthings said 6 years ago

    Beautiful and inspiring photos, but at the same time sad! For someone who relishes in the possibles uses of forgotten items, I feel these spaces could be re-used, but for what? And I love anything Art Deco I think it was a great architectural time period in US history, as well as for jewelry :).

  • TheHandOfFatima

    TheHandOfFatima said 6 years ago

    my dear friend Invincible (a Detroit based rappette) told me that this is called "ruin porn". i was fascinated by these ghostly photos, and i found them beautiful. she told me that yes, they are beautiful but that this is what politically the media chooses to cover about Detroit as if there is nothing progress going on, like nobody is working toward a new day. I attended the US Social Forum there in June and it was inspirational to see in the midst of ruin, so many grassroots organizers working on moving forward in Detroit. However, on an artistic level, these pictures are so grand.

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy said 6 years ago

    Absolutely fascinating, and gorgeous photos~ I feel sad for these old beauties, but am bolstered by the spunky attitude of folks who clearly love Detroit commenting here. I think this place will be born again, somehow, if people care that much. The picture that haunts me the most for some reason: The abandoned public library. WOW. Insane. ~Heidi

  • JGoldsmithGallery

    JGoldsmithGallery said 6 years ago

    Oh Thank you so much for this piece! I am a native Detroiter and grew up watching the city's elegant collapse. My fondest memories are the annual Auto Show, sketching in an abandoned factory, and getting by as my father (a skilled gear grinder) went in and out of various states of employment. I've since travelled to some 30 countries and lived in Florida, NYC and aboard a ship.... My art always comes back to this, the tipped balance, the beyond-broken, the quiet rusty dissolution of things.... (In fact, one of the photos in this book inspired a silkscreen I did last fall.) I'm not usually this verbose, or poetic, but this is my city and I love it deeply. It inspires me every day!

  • saltlabs

    saltlabs said 6 years ago

    Though these photos are real – many people here are desperately trying to remake the city into a viable, livable city and not have it be the "city last gasp". Read about how Detroit is newly incentivizing it's own renewal: http://bit.ly/fAwiXC Also check out a great documentation of Detroit decline through Stephen Magsig's painting blog "Postcards from Detroit": http://myartspage.blogspot.com

  • PrettyLoot

    PrettyLoot said 6 years ago

    The decline is sad and unfortunate.

  • OliveLongstocking

    OliveLongstocking said 6 years ago

    From an Australians perspective,I thought the photographs were absolutely stunning. I saw history and magnificent architecture, not abandonment. I hope when America recovers from the economic crisis it will preserve some, or even parts of their historical architecture for future generations.Australia is such a young country in comparison to other countries- we don't have buildings dating back centuries and centuries, so we really appreciate history when we actually see it.

  • aaharpist

    aaharpist said 6 years ago

    I grew up 15 minutes from downtown Detroit. I don't think I would go as far as to say Detroit is akin to the ancient Maya and Inca cities... That's quite an exaggeration. There are Michiganders are constantly working on rebuilding Detroit.

  • toybreaker

    toybreaker said 6 years ago

    Here's a bit of a counter for those of us who are working on making Detroit live and thrive and not just be a crumbling (although beautiful) tourist wonderland. Palladium presents: Detroit Lives featuring Johnny Knoxville: http://vimeo.com/14375565 As seen on Coilhouse: http://coilhouse.net/2011/01/detroit-thrives/ Here’s more info about OmniCorp: http://omnicorpdetroit.com They’re (OCD) doing some super amazing things, I had to take some time off personally over the last few month as the Cyberoptix ties consume every second of my life during the holiday season, but I’m really hoping to resume being more involved asap. Troy Paff of Dirty Jobs w/ Mike Rowe, is doing a fantastic photo essay of the tradesmen of 21st century America. Here’s some that he shot in Detroit: Jeff Sturges/OmniCorp http://blog.journeymanproject.net/?p=135 Shameless peek into my studio: http://blog.journeymanproject.net/?p=91 There are so many people working hard and organically making their lives better and the place as a whole better as a result. It’s really inspiring!

  • BlueSkyStudios

    BlueSkyStudios said 6 years ago

    Beautiful images, great article!

  • ThreadRare

    ThreadRare said 6 years ago

    What's sad to me are the comments by the photographers and others that essentially say, "America just doesn't know what they have and throw it away." It's an unfair conclusion when there are many factors that can lead to ruins like these. I'm not sure Detroit is in the position to just go in and start rehabbing their buildings, for one thing. It would be wonderful, of course, but who will fund it? There may be other priorities for that money, in Detroit's current economy. I believe these things would be preserved if they could be, but in the end (and on a scale of what really matters), they are only things. On that note, take a look around this country and the pains that have been taken to preserve historical sites, homes, landmarks, etc. It's not all molding and rotting in favor of building something shiny and new.

  • BeadBead

    BeadBead said 6 years ago

    As most of Michigan struggles with tens of thousands of lost jobs - due to the demise of the automotive industry - we are more concerned about housing, feeding and clothing our residents. Unfortunately, amidst a huge state budget deficit of $1.8 billion dollars and staggering unemployment numbers, restoring buildings is not a top priority now. There is still much life in Detroit, and many things are being saved and rebuilt - meanwhile I hope the $$ goes to a coat, or a hot meal to care for those who have lost their homes, as we hit very low temperatures in a very harsh Winter. xo, me

  • awpphotography

    awpphotography said 6 years ago

    Very Awesome pictures!! Thanks for sharing this, saw the post on twitter!! Jessica Palotas

  • henrystreet

    henrystreet said 6 years ago

    Great photography. I was just in Detroit a couple months ago, and yes, it looks just like this. A whole city full of it, if you can imagine.

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 6 years ago

    Thank you for this. So beautiful and haunting.

  • studiopainters

    studiopainters said 6 years ago

    nice shot.

  • withlovemandy

    withlovemandy said 6 years ago

    A beautiful realization of an ugly truth. John Rich's "Shuttin' Detroit Down" would make a poignant soundtrack for this.

  • abunchofscrap

    abunchofscrap said 6 years ago

    There is so much history in this town. So many talented people have lived here. It sad to see, beautiful, but so sad that all of what Michigan has to offer is gone. No more car industry, no more motown, no more MONEY to save all these old old historical buildings. I guess there are the Great Lakes but soon they too will be destroyed.

  • HeavenlyNaturals

    HeavenlyNaturals said 6 years ago

    Beautifully captured.

  • ibuythings

    ibuythings said 6 years ago

    "It sad to see, beautiful, but so sad that all of what Michigan has to offer is gone." What, @abunchofscrap?! Michigan has SO MUCH TO OFFER. There are SO many people in this state with mitten pride and are proud to live here, and happy to help it keep living, no matter what state of being or decay Detroit it is in. Detroit is not dead. And Michigan is SO full of life.

  • tweepsums

    tweepsums said 6 years ago

    I guess it's open season on Detroit. Every city has its urban decay. This is beautiful, fascinating photography -- but it isn't just a commentary on "pity Detroit." All these "how sad, how depressing comments" ring with the ignorance that often comes from suburban white professionals who never had to leave the comfort zone.

  • jeaninemllx

    jeaninemllx said 6 years ago

    As a long-time resident of Michigan and a 10-year resident of metro Detroit, it has always been a struggle explaining the pull here. People see imagery such as what this blog post contains and believe we are in fact living amidst a 'ghost town' when in fact, it is far from the truth. We have struggled for years under the political guidance of monsters - Kwame Kilpatrick being one of them - and neglect to applaud those like the current mayor Dave Bing for the work they are doing to restore this city. What these images don't show you are the beautiful new buildings immediately next door that showcase all the renaissance this city has endured. Yes, these ruins exist, but it is not indicative of the city. This city is filled with young, passionate, artistic souls dedicated to putting their finances and energy into the new Detroit. I encourage all of you here to do your research on the interesting changes mayor Dave Bing is bringing to this city but understand that he had to start from scratch due to the infiltration of coruption. He is taking back neighborhoods, shrinking the size of this city, turning areas into community gardens, removing debris and rubble like you are seeing pictured above and bringing everything down to its bones. It IS sad. It IS haunting. But this is a great city that will some day be found atop a new culture. The images Marchand and Meffre show are a nod to the horrific fall from grace this city has experienced, but if they had spent some time exploring the nearby street or even the neighboring building, they would have realized that life has progressed quite well.

  • tippleandsnack

    tippleandsnack said 6 years ago

    Amazing photographs. Miss Havisham meets Detroit. There's an air of elegant dignity about the work. Well done!

  • tweepsums

    tweepsums said 6 years ago

    ... and onions to the Etsy editor who promoted this post by calling Detroit an "abandoned metropolis." That's just a TAD sensational, is it not? Come on Etsy staffers, take off your crocheted glasses.

  • Modulation

    Modulation said 6 years ago

    There are areas like this in Cleveland too, but I don't think on this large of a scale. These images are almost post apocolyptic in nature, and very surreal. Interesting and haunting.

  • Leatherheart

    Leatherheart said 6 years ago

    I've lived in Detroit for almost a decade now (proud life-long Michigander), and while images like these are beautiful and honest, I am growing so tired of this place only being noted for its ruins. I understand the allure, and I am sure most Etsy folks don't often get a chance to see these things. They are literally in my backyard so I guess I'm used to it. It is alarming to read so many foriegners blindly judging America and Detroit. Detroit is a great place to live and create, but she is a harsh mistress- economically, politically, and geeze- try our winter! This city is dangerous and dirty, but also beautiful and forgiving. We are incredibly proud of our history, but the city is sorely lacking the resources to preserve all of it (especially when our population is so drastically dwindling!). I urge anyone interested to read up on the history of Detroit, or better yet- come visit! We have a new hostel opening in the spring!Maybe I'll be the "ambassador" to show you around... http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/hosteldetroit110910.aspx

  • SeahorseFeather

    SeahorseFeather said 6 years ago

    Wow! if those walls could talk~hauntingly Beautiful!

  • Racheletc

    Racheletc said 6 years ago

    What a tragedy.. reminds me of Brighton Old Pier (south coast of England), which was a stunning victorian pier but was left to ruin, fall into the sea and eventually got burn down by arsonists.. just the frame of the end of the pier remains..

  • ironhoney

    ironhoney said 6 years ago

    So great! I've always wanted to go explore Detroit. I've been to Gary, IN many times since I live close by. I have some Gary shots on my Etsy, as well as my site http://store.ironhoney.com/The-land-of/Brightly-Wound/12419163_TSnny#918309656_PtEE8 http://www.ironhoney.com

  • TheLittleRooster

    TheLittleRooster said 6 years ago

    As an Urban Studies graduate, I find this article quite interesting, and as a photography enthusiast, I enjoy looking a those pictures of Urban Decay. It would be very interesting to visit and take some of my own. I'll go ahead and click on those links!

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 6 years ago

    The Coilhouse blog posted these pictures and used a phrase I'd never heard before: "ruin porn", meaning, people come in and take pictures and then leave, not bothering to help revive the area, preferring instead to take advantage of its crumbling surface aesthetic instead. But according to that article, the good news is, because Detroit IS so run down, there is a growing movement of artists of all types who are making the city theirs. Perhaps that's what we should do with all crumbling behemoth cities; make them creative centers instead of renovating. Food for thought. :)

  • sakblurt24

    sakblurt24 said 6 years ago

    They should make that building into an apartment complex!! Its sooo rustic and historic...it shouldn't just sit there empty!! ...I'd live there

  • PthaloAzul

    PthaloAzul said 6 years ago

    The photographs are lovely, I'm definately keeping them close--as reference and inspiration for my rediculous apocalyptic sci-fi--but the almost sensationalist tone is a little too macabre for real life. You know what was an actual ghost town city? Chernobyl. Detroit is no where near that, so lets have some respect and not act like it's dead or infected with terminal cancer.

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 6 years ago

    My friends in the tv making biz just finished filming there. They love it! Beautiful photos.

  • aaharpist

    aaharpist said 6 years ago

    Thank you, PthaloAzul!!!

  • maclancy

    maclancy said 6 years ago

    being from Detroit this is difficult to view. I left when I was still in my teens and have not gone back. It started to die in the late 60s. Now its in the final stages. Google executives..you know you want to go in there and turn it around. Rupert Murdoch transform the landscape.. please? It needs someone to rebuild her. It was once such a wonderful city.. my father and grandfather both part of the auto industry and a thriving economy at one time. We will miss you Detroit.:-) these photos are outstanding and iconic.

  • Modulation

    Modulation said 6 years ago

    I went to the link provided to check out more of the pictures, and noticed the Theatre pictures they had as well. As a performer, these images are deeply moving. I wish I had the funds to renovate these beautiful muses back to their glory days. Seeing these makes me want to cry....

  • JoMacJewels

    JoMacJewels said 6 years ago

    Haunting and beautiful and sad to see such a beautiful City in such decay. I was born and raised in Detroit and it was so beautiful with magnificent Buildings. Detroit will once again rise from the ashes and once again regain its beauty and stature. Those who let the city fall into decay will not be remembered with love and respect. Look to the future and a greater City to come.

  • evertonterrace

    evertonterrace said 6 years ago

    These images, and what the represent are so unbelievably and tragically sad to me. Haunting. I can only hope this springs someone into action to preserve.

  • wayfaringmagnolia

    wayfaringmagnolia said 6 years ago

    Love this post. Being a Michigander, I appreciate seeing the beauty of the past and current Detroit. I glad that there are those who can still find the goodness in the otherwise mostly forgotten city. Thank you for your work!

  • Glowbees

    Glowbees said 6 years ago

    Being near Detroit, these beautiful photos look like they were taken somewhere else... some place far far away. Tough to see beauty in a "ghost town", but these photographers accomplished it. When I go downtown, it's tough to find any beauty. If there is any, it's in the romanticized past.

  • stoopidgerl

    stoopidgerl said 6 years ago

    There are several fascinating abandoned buildings in Detroit. I used to love exploring them when I lived there. My favorite adventure was to an abandoned trailer-park near the water. So many people left so many things behind.

  • ANGELsTIME

    ANGELsTIME said 6 years ago

    Not everybody gets to see images like this; some people may not know that there's a lot of poverty in America. The richest country in the world, supposedly. I live in a small town that looks like a third-world country. Unfortunately, we'll see this more and more.

  • sloeginfizz

    sloeginfizz said 6 years ago

    Boo, boo, boo, Etsy. "…a city's last gasp." Really? I moved to Michigan 2 1/2 years ago and am constantly amazed by the feeling of possibility in Detroit right now. There are large numbers of people -- especially young people -- taking on exciting challenges and exploring new ventures in a way that couldn't happen anywhere else. Yes, they are able to do so because of the decay of the city over many years, but the important part is that they are doing it. And change is coming. Where's the coverage of that? I've been traveling extensively around the midwest since moving here doing craft shows, such as Renegade Chicago, Cleveland's Bazaar Bizarre and the Crafty Supermarket in Cincinnati. And by far, the shows in Detroit—organized by the amazing Handmade Detroit collective—bring the most supportive and loyal audience I have yet to encounter. There is incredibly strong and genuine enthusiasm for creativity, craft and art here. Thank you to toybreaker for linking to some really great positive links above. Here's a couple more exciting projects: Detroit Soup http://www.detroitsoup.com/ A monthly dinner funding micro-grants for creative projects Garden Resource Program http://www.detroitagriculture.org/GRP_Website/Home.html A collaborative to support urban gardens & farming Gourmet Underground Detroit http://www.undergrounddetroit.com/ Leading the foodie revolution in Detroit Handmade Detroit http://handmadedetroit.com/ "A loose collective for people who like to make stuff." Just do a search on Etsy and you will be bowled over by the creative work coming out of a city that is working really hard to reinvent itself.

  • Theredroseboutique

    Theredroseboutique said 6 years ago

    Awesome pics but some of the comments rubbed me the wrong way. Detroit is: No jobs, no $, no people who care. People live in horrible conditions. Corrupt government. Gangs and crime that are out of control. Unsafe schools. Starving children. We are suppose to save a building that is falling down. Detroit needs a different kind of rebuilding and it doesn't start with fixing old buildings.

  • geschichtenvonkat

    geschichtenvonkat said 6 years ago

    as a native of flint, michigan, i have to say i'm offended by the attitude of this article and some of the comments. we michiganders have spent our lives defending our beautiful state and it is so frustrating and sad to hear that people still don't understand that nobody there wanted these buildings to be empty, nobody there has such a lack of appreciation for history that we wanted this to happen and it's quite small-minded and hurtful of you to assume that. for those who are not familiar with the situation and would be led to believe otherwise: michigan (especially flint and detroit) have been in an economic downward spiral for over 40 years. what everyone has been experiencing in this current economy has been my entire childhood. this happened because of a lack of economic diversity and so the state was hit very hard when the car companies started pulling out. there was nothing else for people to do, no where for them to turn so they had to leave and abandon not just buildings, but their entire lives and families or face crime, poverty, and starvation. THAT is why these lovely buildings are like this, not because americans and michiganders do not have a deep appreciation for our history. also, to refer to it as a ghost town is just putting a romantic and naive spin on something that is a sad and difficult reality for so many of my family and friends. the pictures are hauntingly beautiful and i applaud the work, but detroit is far from being a ghost town and is here to stay, no question about it.

  • RusaoDesigns

    RusaoDesigns said 6 years ago

    I love Detroit- and find the beauty in the loss that our city finds. We often go take pictures of the disrepair- it's a haunting beauty that the city has in parts. The city has a lot of good that the media doesn't show and report on. And our generation of artists love the city and are looking forward to seeing it shine as the great city we know it is.

  • Fynorrahs

    Fynorrahs said 6 years ago

    Most, if not all, of the places shown in these images are still private property. Requiring permission from the owners to be on, and in, the property. Because of that I have not seen the inside of all of the places shown but I have seen most of the structures from the outside and there is a sadness about them but only if one views them through a single lense. Look around, spend some time there, investigate the REAL history of the city and you may come away with a respect for the what is decaying, but great hope for the future of this that is NOT a ghost town. To paint the entire city with one broad brush stroke of it being ghost town only shows me that they only saw what they wanted to see and research was not done. Wonder if they bothered to obtain proper permission to be on private property in order to display what they believe depicts Detroit.

  • CarlasFunkyArt

    CarlasFunkyArt said 6 years ago

    gorgeous photos, but makes me so sad.....and who would have guessed Detroit?

  • blitz236

    blitz236 said 6 years ago

    Oh snap. It's Silent Hill.

  • sloeginfizz

    sloeginfizz said 6 years ago

    A perfect example of Detroit's talent and belief in itself: http://www.etsy.com/listing/55250605/we-hope-for-better-things-screen-print

  • geschichtenvonkat

    geschichtenvonkat said 6 years ago

    thank you for sharing that sloeginfizz! it couldn't be said better and i do hope the etsy admin will be issuing some sort of apology or retraction for this article and its erroneous assumptions. i've never seen anything on etsy that was so short-sighted and would really like to continue believing that they know better!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 6 years ago

    Very sad to see. But beautiful pictures.

  • juliems3

    juliems3 said 6 years ago

    THIS IS GREAT! It is personal for me living and being originally from Michigan. Thanks for telling the story in this way.....you do NOT need to go to Greece to see ruins...we are living in amazing change. :)

  • stealthkitten

    stealthkitten said 6 years ago

    Please, enough with the ruin porn. There is way more life and hope in Detroit that you give it credit. Describing it as a city experiencing it's "last gasp" frankly insults the efforts and great strides made among the community there. I know this wasn't your intention, but I get frustrated with the constant pity party that doesn't do anything constructive. For a different perspective, check out a short documentary called "Detroit Lives," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMysMDHdb4

  • carolyngallo

    carolyngallo said 6 years ago

    yawn**** mildly insulting, hardly original. i take it there are no "ruins" in Europe so they decided to come to Detroit? **rolls eyes PS: Detroit Lives is a great documentary. It is a testimony to the true spirit of the city.

  • ArtByG

    ArtByG said 6 years ago

    What is really sad is that buildings like these are allowed to decay while homeless people live on the street. Industry would rather let a building die than help another human being. That is sad.

  • Nancy24

    Nancy24 said 6 years ago

    It is so sad to see this...I remember the vibrant days of Detroit and Motown, theaters, Cobo Hall and seminars there as well as other events. It truly feels like the death of an old friend.

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 6 years ago

    Very haunting but absolutely compelling images. Fascinating stuff

  • riotjane

    riotjane said 6 years ago

    "Does every city need a return to relevance? Is rehabilitation of ghost towns even possible or, dare I say, necessary? Should we quietly retreat as cities turn to dust, looking toward something less fragile?" wow, really? this once great city, still has lots of wonderful things going on. i think all cities deserve to rise again, especially one with so much spirit left in it. there are a lot of opinions here from outsiders that know nothing, and it makes a local like myself sad, and angry that such naive words were even written (blog and many of the comments) next time try doing a blog on "the preservation of old detroit through a locals lens" (because pretty soon all those cool old buildings are going to be gone) and google some articles on one of the many things going on to put the city back together. detroit IS a sad case and it's been treated poorly, but nobody deserves to be given up on. there are plenty of people out there fighting for it, and rebuilding it. sorry, just had to get that out there.

  • riotjane

    riotjane said 6 years ago

    ps......thank you sloeginfizz!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 6 years ago

    These pictures are so fascinating yet, haunting. I'm amazed at how quickly modern cities rise, and fall so quickly.

  • paperpeacock

    paperpeacock said 6 years ago

    Beautiful decay... if you see a problem with the state of things please think twice before buying cheap imports that were made under unfair working conditions. It didn't happen overnight.

  • jdybdal23

    jdybdal23 said 6 years ago

    "As Europeans, we were looking with an outsider's eye, which made downtown Detroit seem even more strange and dramatic. We are not used to seeing empty buildings left intact. ...It is as if America has no sense of its own architectural history and culture." Um, what?! Shame on etsy for posting this ridiculous article. In Detroit (and many many other cities in the United States) the economy has forced millions of people out of work and struggling to feed and provide for their families...so maybe dusting off a chandelier might take a backseat, but that doesn't mean that Americans don't appreciate our own history and culture. There IS life and revitalization in Detroit and these cities and it is shameful to paint the whole city (and, to extrapolate on this interview, the whole country)in this light. While the pictures are haunting, I would encourage these artists to put down their quick judgments and do some actual research about their "subjects".

  • lisajune Admin

    lisajune said 6 years ago

    I traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan many summers ago. There's nothing more haunting than a ghost town. Thank you for finding the beauty in difficult realities.

  • artslutheidi

    artslutheidi said 6 years ago

    beautiful, somewhat tragic - a reminder that money and resources certainly can be wasted

  • artworksbycarol

    artworksbycarol said 6 years ago

    Beautiful architecture even in ruins.

  • jazzmynwillowdesigns

    jazzmynwillowdesigns said 6 years ago

    breathtaking!

  • Broid

    Broid said 6 years ago

    I greatly enjoyed this post! Thank you.

  • HoodVintageandWool

    HoodVintageandWool said 6 years ago

    amazing photography! thanks for sharing

  • gannato06

    gannato06 said 6 years ago

    I don't think anyone can appreciate the beauty of these buildings more than the people that live there, or appreciate more the statement their present state of being makes. It's the same when you live in a farming area and see family barns laying in ruin as the families that actually own individual farms number fewer and fewer. The hope for these glorious structures to be used and repaired again will never die. Thank you for sharing their elegance and beauty.

  • WandercraftDesign

    WandercraftDesign said 6 years ago

    I live in the city of Detroit and while I think the photos are awe-inspiring, the copy in this piece about Detroit being a ghost town makes me angry. "Last gasp" my ass. Over 800,000 people live in the city proper. I'm sorry people see us as nobodies. There are amazing revitalization efforts going on here and it's been one of the highlights of my life to have a chance to be part of it. I agree that we need more public investment in our amazing architectural treasures but this narrative that Detroit is almost dead is just dead wrong. What the photo of the train station doesn't show is the amazing public garden and art space in front that residents have built recently. Come to Detroit, lend a hand, and change your minds.

  • garritygal

    garritygal said 6 years ago

    I live on the outskirts of Detroit and for years have been taking pictures of some of these same buildings. I've written papers in college about how little Detroit cares for it's history and whenever I go down into the city, my heart aches when I see the abandoned waste and lost memories. True there are artists who are coming into the city to help revitalize it, and I say good luck to them, but until the city government cares and the residents wise up and clean up, the change will hardly be noticeable.

  • EvesLittleEarthlings

    EvesLittleEarthlings said 6 years ago

    A disturbing and thought provoking post. It reminded me of the ghostly photos of the titanic at the bottom of the ocean.

  • rogerjporter

    rogerjporter said 6 years ago

    i am blown away and heartbroken both... i knew it was bad there, but i had no idea.

  • rogerjporter

    rogerjporter said 6 years ago

    Thanks too WandercraftDesign for shedding some light on the situation.

  • sassefrass

    sassefrass said 6 years ago

    Shall we memorialize the day Journalism died? You may think "ghost town" or "last gasp" but what will actually spring up is the hard working Americans who WILL build back up what's been lost. Detroit hasn't received trillions from FEMA. They have been left to fend for themselves and to rebuild solely on their own, or at least for the most part. Detroit is iconically known for being a region of hard working, good hearted Americans. When you talk about factory workers, you're talking about men and woman who do what it takes to a) get the job done, and b) feed their family. You're not talking about gluttons or wasteful people, your talking about honorable people who don't mind pulling a 12 hour shift standing on their feet all day just to turn around tomorrow and the next and do it all over again. These people just didn't quit for kicks, their jobs were taken away from them. We left them no other option. Go figure, this is coming from a Californian ;) I'm glad these photos were posted though. This shall surely be symbolic 10 years from now when Detroit is back up and running better than EVER! I wouldn't so quickly doubt the tenacity of a hard working middle class American....they make it happen, again, and again,and again.... *Oh, and whoever commented: "We throw away SO much that could be made beautiful again chasing new and "better" things..." You make it sound like these citizens didn't like their Art Deco styled city hall or police station so they all picked up and migrated to a more "modernized" community. Ummm, last I checked it sort of works like so: No JOBS, No Work, No Work, No Food, No Food,,,,,well, you go where you can work to feed your family. *Props to the artists and all those helping to restore and to rebuild! *Lastly, if these photos are reproductions of published work, they should probably be removed I would suppose.

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 6 years ago

    A very haunting situation. I wish I had millions to buy these up and turn them into a new solar or eco energy programs. Just a little thought.................

  • LoveMaddi

    LoveMaddi said 6 years ago

    SO SO beautiful, sad, and dramtic photos, good job at captioning the moment

  • pamwares

    pamwares said 6 years ago

    i have seen so many of these photos and they amaze me. some of these buildings have such good bones still and i would love to see a big new company take them over and bring them back to life. i will keep dreaming. thank you for sharing. they need to be shared.

  • JAdamsDesigns

    JAdamsDesigns said 6 years ago

    I live about a half hour from Detroit and yet I've never seen any of this. I would love to take a day and check these places out before they are long gone and forgotten, but honestly I've always been afraid to Detroit is pretty much paired with crime and that can be a little daunting to someone that didn't grow up with that. I give these 2 lots of credit for coming here and seeing it all for themselves! Perhaps it is possible to take a trip and check it out one of these days... (But not today, it's 10 Degrees F outside...LOL)

  • SmallEarthVintage

    SmallEarthVintage said 6 years ago

    Another blogger posted the link to these amazing photos in my blog a week or so ago, and I've been haunted by them ever since. I love Detroit, and try to make visits there every month or so. There's no doubt that the city still has lots to offer. But it cannot be denied that much has been lost, as these haunting photos testify.

  • riotjane

    riotjane said 6 years ago

    i think anyone who is about to comment on this blog should go read the responses by sloeginfizz, jdybdal23, geschichtenvonkat, carolyngallo, myself, WandercraftDesign, and sassefrass. just saying.

  • saltlabs

    saltlabs said 6 years ago

    More documented photos of the tragic beauty of Detroit's ruin, Kevin Bauman's 100 Abandoned Houses project: http://www.100abandonedhouses.com His description of the project: "The abandoned houses project began innocently enough roughly ten years ago...100 seemed like a lot, although the number of abandoned houses in Detroit is more like 12,000. Encompassing an area of over 138 square miles, Detroit has enough room to hold the land mass of San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan Island, yet the population has fallen from close to 2 million citizens, to most likely less than 800,000. With such a dramatic decline, the abandoned house problem is not likely to go away any time soon."

  • madickinson

    madickinson said 6 years ago

    More than likely no one will read this, but these picture only represent one part of Detroit. It is beyond irresponsible to only show these photos out of context. Google Phil Cooley, The Eastern Market or any of the many incredible art galleries in Detroit started by young people. Good lord, on a typical Saturday The Eastern Market gets 20,000 people! Additionally all the know it all foreigners throwing their two cents in can shut the hell up. The Midwest does not need your opinion.

  • lotusmoss

    lotusmoss said 6 years ago

    Really guys? These are "photographs of a city's last gasp"? With Etsy being a populist, grass roots community, bent on helping creative types bring meaning and money into their lives, I'm surprised that you dismiss the whole entire city of Detroit as a place that is not only dying, but pretty much dead. And also that everyone gets such a kick out of romanticizing the problems of a city struggling to sustain itself right now. Is there nothing of worth left there? I'm glad others have noted this in the comments. For anyone looking at an alternate view of this obsession with ruin porn and the problems that it might create, check out John Leary's article in Guernica, "Detroitism": http://www.guernicamag.com/features/2281/leary_1_15_11/

  • Tirabaralla

    Tirabaralla said 6 years ago

    This is so sad... The photos are beautiful and the project very interesting... but still too sad.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 6 years ago

    paralyzing images

  • alwaystheforest

    alwaystheforest said 6 years ago

    I live about fourty minutes from the city, and I can definitely say it's not a ghost town. I can find a bar packed with cool kids doing rock 'n roll karaoke on a Wednesday night at 1 a.m., and there's also a certain BBQ place that is booked until March for reservations. Doesn't exactly sound like a ghost town to me. As a fashion designer, I have no problems finding amazing stores in Detroit to sell my line to. There's an incredibly active craft scene, and I can buy almost all of my supplies from local, independently-owned businesses. And yes, we have these "ruins", but across the street from the decaying Michigan Central Station is a great popular restaurant, and down the street is gallery that recently hosted a networking event/discussion panel about the future of the fashion industry in Detroit. People should take pictures of those things too!

  • vrilleuse

    vrilleuse said 6 years ago

    What an irresponsible project. I'm as upset with Etsy for featuring this book as I am with the photographers that came up with the idea. How much more disaster porn of Detroit (and the greater rust belt) do we need? As a few other commenters have noted, Detroit is absolutely not a ghost town, and to call it a city on it's "last gasp" is really offensive to the people who live and work there. Seriously, no one thinks there's something weird that outsiders with little grasp on the pulse and culture of the city are making money off of an old, dated, and offensive meme? Especially when some of their comments are laughably ignorant. "It is as if America has no sense of its own architectural history and culture." I guess none of the photographers have ever ventured downtown, where one can see the Penobscot Building, the Fisher Building, the Guardian Building, One Woodward Avenue, the Renaissance Center... etc. "Looking beyond all the foregone treasures, the crumbling infrastructure, and the staggering rehabilitation necessary to revive a city of this scale, there lies a heady question: Does every city need a return to relevance? Is rehabilitation of ghost towns even possible or, dare I say, necessary? Should we quietly retreat as cities turn to dust, looking toward something less fragile?" Wow.

  • heyyo

    heyyo said 6 years ago

    enough with the ruin porn. nearly a million people live in the city of detroit. many are very poor, and most are black. do they not count? do the actual residents of detroit get in the way of your vision? oh, right. it's much easier to romanticize a dead city with beautiful ruins than it is to recognize the very real lives of the many people who do live in detroit.

  • stellarvenus

    stellarvenus said 6 years ago

    As someone who lives very near to Detroit it's terrible to hear people proclaiming it a "dead city" and that it's in "ruins". Honestly if you were to look around your own city you too would see abandoned, decaying buildings. Detroit and those other cities that are in the Rust Belt are very much alive. We that live here go to work, go shopping and try to better our communities. If anything this whole recession has made those of us who live here more introspective and community focused.

  • dottirosestudio

    dottirosestudio said 6 years ago

    This collection of photos is haunting. I think these photos are irresponsible. Let's work on solutions instead of focusing on decay and ruin!

  • dottirosestudio

    dottirosestudio said 6 years ago

    This collection of photos is haunting. I think these photos are irresponsible. Let's work on solutions instead of focusing on decay and ruin!

  • ciamellia

    ciamellia said 6 years ago

    I really appreciate the other Michiganders out there who are setting the record straight the Detroit is nowhere near "rural" or a "ghost town." I honestly feel like the only attention Detroit gets is from photographers who think they can make a statement from taking pictures of abandoned buildings... And unfortunately thats all a lot of people see of Detroit. Thats far from all there is to the city and I wish more out-of-towners would stop focusing on whats dead and take pictures of all the efforts being made to revitalize Detroit. Sure things are hard right now... and they have been for a while- but the people here are resilient. There are tons of folks who are creating beauty within the city that inspires, as opposed to a few depressing photographs of the abandoned past.

  • strawberrycouture

    strawberrycouture said 6 years ago

    I'm originally from Ann Arbor, MI, a suburb of Detroie, MI. Detroit has been decaying in the 80's if not earlier. Just don't walk there at night!!! Very dangerous!

  • strawberrycouture

    strawberrycouture said 6 years ago

    Oops I meant Detroit

  • art4ear

    art4ear said 6 years ago

    Beautiful and haunting at the same time! Thank-you!

  • Dramatrauma

    Dramatrauma said 6 years ago

    Vice ran a great article on how Detroit Ruin Porn has become soemthing of an industry and lest documentation then exploitation at this point. The journalist had to wait for a performance artist and a rapper filming a video to leave the ruin which is across teh street from a busy pair of restaurants But my gawd soembody rescue the deco chandeliers fro if m the ballrooms and movie palyou cant restore emaces!

  • SpiritedWoodland

    SpiritedWoodland said 6 years ago

    Brilliant! I love all these urban ruins photographers - so happy to see something like this on etsy. There are many sellers on here who have wonderful photos of ruins. Not to mention we have a lot of urban ruins all over New England with a history and character that has gotten lost along the way.

  • ClayLickCreekPottery

    ClayLickCreekPottery said 6 years ago

    I think you hit the nail on the head stating that " ...America has no sense of its own architectural history and culture." Bingo! That's what happens when the arts are not valued and cut from schools.

  • kmbutterfly

    kmbutterfly said 6 years ago

    These pictures are gorgeous, haunting, no doubt, but I can't get past the fact that Detroit is still very much alive. This decay comes partly from a frustrating mismanagement of wealth by the few who possessed it. These buildings fall apart, yes, but at the same time, people suffer great loss, owing to the same source. Ghost town? not so much. symptom of a struggling economy? yes.

  • pinkbijou

    pinkbijou said 6 years ago

    Beautiful and sad photos!

  • yogiodie

    yogiodie said 6 years ago

    Awesome job! Nice photos. Very sad though.

  • VintageAbigailTemple

    VintageAbigailTemple said 6 years ago

    WOW!!! While I understand the tragedy in the abandonment of such beautiful buildings, one thing that any Detroiter can tell you is that it is far from a "ghost town". With our year around festivals, beautiful downtown, several historic communities, and multicultural areas I wouldn't live anywhere else. Quite frankly I am getting really fed up with outsiders from wherever breaking and entering (which is illegal) into abandoned buildings and saying what should have been done. Detroit has the same problems as any other large city. I'm sure most of you who are commenting about how "sad" it is have never even visited the city.

  • SantaMia

    SantaMia said 6 years ago

    I loved all of the old homes in Detroit. Very cool place to hang in the summer.

  • oakappledesigns

    oakappledesigns said 6 years ago

    Breathtaking. Would love to have a poster version of some of these. I live in Brighton & the old pier is similarly beautiful even though it's a ruin. These aren't negative images to me, more a demonstration of what the elements can do! Thanks :)

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 6 years ago

    What can I say? Wow. So sad, and so stunningly...just unreal. It pains my heart how beautiful these are, and from a city of former glory just 6 hours and a few decades away.

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 6 years ago

    Dramatrauma, et al the phrase "Detroit Ruin Porn" is great, I can totally appreciate that. It must be super frustrating to have people who don't live there come in and seemingly pass judgement and frame the city this way without exploring the lives and brightness there. It is cool to hear from so many people in Detroit who refute the "ghost town" image too.

  • Zen25

    Zen25 said 6 years ago

    I absolutley love these! So strangely, hauntingly beautiful!

  • dearpumpernickel

    dearpumpernickel said 6 years ago

    wwwwwooooooowwwwwww! Best pictures ever, how beautiful!

  • grrlanachronism

    grrlanachronism said 6 years ago

    Oh yes, how beautiful. Try living here. >:I

  • sassycrafter

    sassycrafter said 6 years ago

    I've always been captivated by places like this. It's hard not to imagine all of the people who once busily went about their days in those empty spaces. As so many others have said, sad yet beautiful.

  • andralynn

    andralynn said 6 years ago

    I can imagine the ghosts that must walk in a place like that. It must have been splendid at one time.

  • almapottery

    almapottery said 6 years ago

    If you think Detroit is a ghost town ,come and take a walk downtown .Real people are fighting hard everyday to keep their houses,jobs and history and they didn't give up because they don't have that option.The town might be mortally wounded and we might be running around with band-aids but it'our town and if we don't try the rest of the world is quick in calling it a "ghost town". Here's a bunch of stuff that goes with those pictures http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2010/09/092310-dont-forget-the-motor-city.html http://www.palladiumboots.com/exploration/detroit

  • smalldailypaintings

    smalldailypaintings said 6 years ago

    These photos are are extraordinary - eerie, sad and beautiful.

  • vintagemaison

    vintagemaison said 6 years ago

    It's the way of the modern world unfortunately - like the abandoned cotton mills in Lancashire, England in the 60's and 70's, the docks in London and Liverpool and the crumbling mansions and farms in France in the 1990's. Now, all has either been knocked down and built over, or restored but either way nothing remains the same. Sad, but true. Oh, and the other truism is that if there is money to be made, you can bet that someone will move in and make that money but it won't be the ordinary folk of Detroit.

  • prissyantiques

    prissyantiques said 6 years ago

    Its time to look at what is possible in Detroit. I vistited once, and there was a art/music emerging. Would it be cost prohibitive to rent update buildings and bring a more creative culture back?

  • SanibelsTreasures

    SanibelsTreasures said 6 years ago

    Born and raised in a suburb of Detroit. When I was in a high school photography class we used to sneak downtown and take photos similar to these. I say "sneak" because we weren't allowed by our parents to go there. That was in the early 90s, I think it's gotten better since then. There has always been a ton of art and music and culture but its seems to be getting noticed more as well lately!

  • Rapturebeauty

    Rapturebeauty said 6 years ago

    Also born and raised in a suburb of Detroit. It's sad to see the state of this once great city. Great photography!

  • snowyogi

    snowyogi said 6 years ago

    As a fellow Michigander, it's always hard to see the images of Detroit as it is now. Buffalo NY is similar in many ways, although on a smaller scale. Old once-beautiful buildings in complete ruin...

  • rustyrosepetals

    rustyrosepetals said 6 years ago

    Hauntingly beautiful photography

  • trunkandtail

    trunkandtail said 6 years ago

    as a native detroiter, these photos strike a particularly sad chord in me. thank you for sharing.... this book looks like a masterpiece, and i'll definitely check it out!

  • TaylorArts

    TaylorArts said 6 years ago

    So poignantly beautiful. My husband watched the same thing happen to the Mississippi Delta. He was able to salvage a lot of the wood from the old buildings before they were burned or bulldozed and now he makes gorgeous furniture from the remains. It's sad to see these great places deteriorate, but it's nice to know that at least some beauty is captured in the process.

  • nowvintage

    nowvintage said 6 years ago

    i believe that images of destruction are often some of the most breathtaking and beautiful images. when put side by side with something that we would classically call beautiful like a flower there is a completeness that is indescribable. birth and death; the two most powerful forces of our experience.

  • WillaminaVintage

    WillaminaVintage said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous photos. Cities have life cycles lie any other living organism, except they don't die. Call me starry-eyed, but I have great hope for cities like Detroit; tough, loyal, and creative people can always be found in them. @ Leatherheart: I've always wanted to visit. I'll take you up on that guided tour when I do!

  • HomeSpunMemoryJoAnn

    HomeSpunMemoryJoAnn said 6 years ago

    This is why I love Vintage and Victorian SO much. It's like trying to hold on VERY TIGHT to a bygone era so it won't fade away and crumble like these once beautiful buildings. My heart aches when I see beautiful creations left behind. We do not appreciate what we have right under our noses. We have a "throw away" socity. Moving along, building and making new, leaving our history behind. Thank goodness for Vintage and Victorian lovers who keep it alive!

  • HomeSpunMemoryJoAnn

    HomeSpunMemoryJoAnn said 6 years ago

    This is why I love Vintage and Victorian SO much. It's like trying to hold on VERY TIGHT to a bygone era so it won't fade away and crumble like these once beautiful buildings. My heart aches when I see beautiful creations left behind. We do not appreciate what we have right under our noses. We have a "throw away" socity. Moving along, building and making new, leaving our history behind. Thank goodness for Vintage and Victorian lovers who keep it alive!

  • mygibsongirl

    mygibsongirl said 6 years ago

    I am amazed at the details left behind in these buildings. There are still a ton of books in that library! It gives a feel of immediate abandonment, like a zombie apocalypse! How Salvador Dali is that clock!? I had mixed feelings looking at these images. There is a bit of sadness or ghostliness, but also a bygone tinge of beauty that would not engage us so if it were not in ruins. Beautiful images...I'm must go share!

  • linenclothing

    linenclothing said 6 years ago

    I am deeply touched by these photos..they make one realize how fragile our world and lives are.

  • sparrowsalvage

    sparrowsalvage said 6 years ago

    Speaking as someone who lives in Australia, these photos have always fascinated me. Along with so many other neighbourhoods of emptiness captured on Flickr (don't search abandoned buildings on there unless you've got a spare week) it's just not something I can fathom. You're hard-pressed to find empty buildings in this country, let alone entire neighbourhoods. (I also must admit to having a fetish for post-apocalyptic landscapes!) But I'm far from thinking Detroit is a lost civilisation- I've heard many great things about the people who live there, the cheap land taken over by artists and urban gardeners. Looking at these images, one of the first things I think is 'wow, imagine what you could do with that space!!' I have a feeling (or is it hope?) that Detroit will become one of the first Neo cities in America, a symbol of a more sustainable and symbiotic life beyond the obsolete corporate tyranny. A new world- go Detroit! I'll come visit one day.

  • SusannahsEmporium

    SusannahsEmporium said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful buildings and architecture, taken for granted and gone to waste. A sad beauty to the photos. Says something of of our shallow, throw-away, consumer driven society that we have here in the US. Some communities in the east (as well in some parts of the west) cherish and maintain their historic buildings but sadly, many are torn down to be replaced with, as the song goes, "a parking lot".

  • Squarekitty

    Squarekitty said 6 years ago

    Wow, depressing and stunning all mashed up! I hope these beautiful pieces of architecture don't get torn down; I'd rather they were kept as 'ghosts' of a former era. It's like scenes from some post-apocolyptic movie, like 'The Road' etc.

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 6 years ago

    Wow. The isolation is amazing

  • PyxusPassionProject

    PyxusPassionProject said 6 years ago

    Wow - such beautiful & haunting photos.... Inspiring.

  • JackPineSavage

    JackPineSavage said 6 years ago

    I am originally from a Southern Michigan factory town and I've always been drawn to the beauty of the decay that was all around although I am a refugee now living far away. Wonderful photos, but they get me missing home and family.

  • jennifermorrisbeads

    jennifermorrisbeads said 6 years ago

    chillingly beautiful and poignant story. they bring up such an interesting point about americans not appreciating their own history..i lived/saw that first hand while living in historic upstate ny for a few years where you find town after abandoned ghost-filled town.

  • riotjane

    riotjane said 6 years ago

    i need to stop looking at this thread. it's making me sick.

  • jewelry4everyone

    jewelry4everyone said 6 years ago

    Please everyone, do not give up on Detroit. Having many hours and hard work rehabing a beautiful home, I know Detroit still has much to offer. Here is a good example: someone has taken beautiful and creative pictures of Detroit at it's worst and making money from it. Many movies are now being made in Detroit, also making money. It has much to offer in beautiful architecture and history, please let's not let give up on Detroit.

  • jewelry4everyone

    jewelry4everyone said 6 years ago

    A big thank you to all who have had encourageing comments about Detroit. Yes the arts and the music are emerging and the downtown is lovely. So much history, let's know lose it!

  • scottagerose

    scottagerose said 6 years ago

    Well written and beautiful photography...Detroit is a Beautiful City worth rediscovering...thank you for your Blog~

  • LittleBettieCreation

    LittleBettieCreation said 6 years ago

    Incredible photos.

  • SparklePins

    SparklePins said 6 years ago

    So eerily beautiful. Would love to forage through an old building like that and imagine what it must have been like before abandonment. It's like a body with no soul. Empty but you know it had a life once.

  • namasteyworld

    namasteyworld said 6 years ago

    This is a great post... thank you for sharing...

  • whitneysorrow

    whitneysorrow said 6 years ago

    On Etsy! Seriously? I expect to see the RUIN PORN of Detroit throughout the media, but on Etsy... wow. I am really stunned at the one-sided and frankly irresponsible blog post here. Etsy's mission statement: "Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade." As any Detroiter can tell you, that energy, that spirit is alive and well. Partly because of the state of parts of Detroit and the fact that Michigan has lost more jobs in the past few years as every other state in the country COMBINED because of the greed of huge corporations whose loyalty lies solely with the shareholder and not their community or workers, that spirit is even more alive here than many cities. I get it, the pictures are haunting and shocking and beautiful, but they're unoriginal, done before (and before and before and before) and not representative the real Detroit, the whole Detroit. Etsy, you made me really sad today.

  • Paper2Roses

    Paper2Roses said 6 years ago

    So sad, but what pictures!!!

  • RayAcuna

    RayAcuna said 6 years ago

    Just over 40 years of Democratic leadership. Hmmmm ....

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