Detroit City Downfall

The first post about Detroit City was intended to be made out of a mix of photographs made by many people, instead I got so fascinated by the 2 artists, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, that I filled the whole post with their work. I said there, in the previous post, all that I should say about this matter, except that one day, when I finally get there, I hope these places are still up, awaiting me to immortalize them, as so many others did before me ..

By DetroitDerek Photography

Michigan Central Station by Sean Hemmerle
Fisher Body Plant No. 21 by Sean Hemmerle
Fisher Body Plant No. 21 Interior by Sean Hemmerle
Fisher Body Plant No. 21 Interior by Sean Hemmerle
Bellevue Avenue by Sean Hammerle
Hastings Street by Sean Hammerle
Brush Park Decay by senor miller
detroit decay by 416style
MCS Book Depository by TunnelBug 

*A big thank you to the management team at Specialty Answering Service for their contributions to the arts & helping make this page possible.


  1. What a shame...they wanted bad they got it!!!!!!

  2. Yea it`s a shame really. Is Kwame a mayor or something?

  3. Blacks are a human virus, coming to a city near you. Billions in tax dollars wasted trying to mitigate the damage caused by blacks to no avail.

  4. The fact that Kwame is black doesnt mean the city was destroyed by blacks.

  5. The city was built by whites, at no cost to the taxpayers. Once it was the wealthiest city in America. Now it is in ruins. Only the confused mind of a liberal can deny what they did to the city.

  6. I sense a bit of racism here. Yes, the city was built by whites, the french to be exact. But what proof do you have that it was "the wealthiest city in America" and that the blacks brought it down? On the other hand I can`t say you`re wrong, I`m not even american. So you explain me.

  7. A bit of racism?! Only the narrow minded philosophy of a Klansman can account for that kind of bullshit opinion. Either that or he's baiting us like a troll.

  8. these photos should just make you think... its not a black or white thing... its humans not taking care or being proud of what they do have... a blame game is not going to fix anything... people need to start looking inside themselves and really see!

  9. You are so right. Humans destroy and build, not races.

  10. After the riots of '68, white fled the city for the suburbs, the city became majority black, Coleman Young became Mayor and began the "US & THEM" campaign that it was always "US blacks of Detroit" Vs "THEM whites of the suburbs" thus starting the downfall of the city.
    This way of thinking was continued through Kwame and through it all,the city leaders were corrupt crooks who lined their pockets with money from special back room deals. The big 3 and retailers were tired of being "shaken down" and the money was no longer coming to the city because the people in the suburbs didn't feel welcome or safe in Detroit anymore, so all the businesses left the city as well and flourished in the burbs.

    So, not just a one sided racial point, but a historical point that when different races fight rather than come together, THIS is the result.
    And historically in Detroit, the black community brought down Detroit, not because they're black and "They live that way", but because Detroit was predominately black and they felt it was their city and whites needed to stay out. In turn, the "white money" stayed out as well.

  11. You see, that argument would make sense IF the Big 3 only pulled out of Black Neighborhoods or even mostly Black communities. But they didn't. The Auto Industry pulled out of mostly white neighborhoods as well, all in the name of moving the factory to cheaper labor overseas, all in the name of lining their paychecks with the lower costs, all in direct contrast to the welfare of labor.

    No Race. Just Class.

  12. I agree with the last statement about no Race, just class. Perhaps Detroit should just reset. What I mean by that is to eliminate all of the city laws and simply abide by federal laws until the city gets back on its feet. We will consider it as a special economic zone. Something similar to Hong Kong would be ideal. I chose Hong Kong because it is consistently regarded as having the world's most free economy.

  13. Every time i've seen that building in Naqoyqatsi, I wondered his history. Thank you. Now I know it's Michigan Sation.

  14. I cant describe how pissed i am that Detroit is a vacant city. detroit would have over 4 million people if the riots hadnt occurred.

  15. Seems like a lot of people are commenting on this that have never set foot in or really don't know a thing about the city, including the author. For example, if you knew the city at all you would notice that the fifth picture down is not of Detroit, not even close (that is definitely not the skyline, nor are there any palm trees in the city, or Michigan for that matter. Good one). For those of you who say that Black people brought the city down, well...there is where you are wrong. It was Greed, Racism and Classism that brought the city down. When the city was "booming" and too was the auto industry as well as the industrial revolution in all of America, African American's were relegated to a small part of town that was called "black bottom" and this type of forced living situations and racism lived on even after black bottom no longer existed. By the way, white flight from the city started much earlier than 1967 when the most famous city riots occurred. In 1943 what was the true "Race Riots" of Detroit, droves of white folks were also going around looking for black people to beat up or threaten due to rising tension between the races. The actions were much akin to the KKK in the south with burning crosses, etc... Black Detroiters were not totally innocent but they were equaled if not outdone in violence by many white rioters. Over the course of three days, 34 people were killed, 25 of whom were African Americans. Out of the approximately 600 injured, black people accounted for more than 75 percent and of the roughly 1,800 people who were arrested over the course of the 3 day riots, black people accounted for 85 percent. As for the 1960s riots. That was black people rioting in their own neighborhoods for the most part. Much of the damage was to black-owned businesses in their own neighborhoods, and it was more of an outcry than any racist gesture or threat. Detroit's current economic crisis is more to blame on any and everyone who moved from the city, Black and White people alike. Almost all of the people who can afford to leave the city have tried, and that has left us with a city of people who have no jobs or don't have the means to move away. This is the story over and over again you hear about Detroit but it is a gem of a city if you know it. There are many interesting and awesome things going on, for example...because of all the vacated land, Detroit is becoming one of the world's meccas for Urban Farming. This is a beautiful thing because it not only uses land effectively but also brings fresh fruits and vegetables to people who may not have otherwise had access to a good grocery store. The art scene in Detroit is huge as well. Russell St. bazaar houses many artist's studios and it is a city that has not priced out it's artists. Not many people know but many of the modern sounds of electronica music originated here in Detroit. So not only did we bring you Motown but Electronica as well. The music of the city is alive and well. The city for those who are willing to see has many beautiful and wonderful things going for it. The people of Detroit that are still living here are ever resilient and very proud of their city. Not to deny that the city government has long been corrupt or just plain incompetent but it Sounds like everyone here could do a little research on what was, is and ever will be, an awesome city that has gone a tough road.

    1. those aren't palm trees, idiot.

  16. the only thing good to come out of DET was electro.

    just kidding, kind of.

    You can't blame riots for the downfall of a city, Riots in LA anyone?

    Also, look at Chicago, Chicago Fire, Riots, looting. Now that, folks, is an AWESOME city and it's had more than its share of turmoil.

  17. Thank you for the so detailed opinion and slice of history. If I could I would live in Detroit, it has a lot to offer, that I know. And sorry for any mistakes, with the photos or info. The internet fed me with them, and we all know that the internet is not always right, even if you know where to look. I`ll be sure to make you my guide when I`ll visit Detroit. :)

  18. If you read the post, you would know this is a collection of pictures by 2 artists, not limited to only Detroit. Good one.

  19. Julia M. WSU student25 November 2011 at 11:10

    I'm a student at Wayne State University in Detroit. I love this city. If you don't live here, then you wouldn't get it, but this city has a class all to its own. I can assure you that Detroit is far from dead, it's the most alive city I've been to but it just needs some care. I strongly believe my generation will be the one to bring this city back. So many young people especially here at WSU strongly love this city and want to be a part of the bigger picture. These pictures bring me a lot of hope for change, but they don't show the real beauty of Detroit: only add to its negative image. Take a picture of the students of Wayne outside of the historical Old Main building, the DIA, the Public Library, midtown's' historical west canfield street, Hart plaza, the City building, The Fisher building.

  20. This blog is not about functioning parts of cities. It's about decay and what should be fixed. I'm aware this is not the true face of the city, but it's the face I like.

  21. Parable: Once a house caught on fire. Inside the burning house the father pointed his finger at the mother and said, "Woman, it's your fault!" The mother pointed her finger at the child and said, "Child, this is your fault!" The child pointed their finger at the dog and said, "Dog, this is your fault!" As they did this, the house collapsed and they died.

    As I have read these posts, there seems to be a lot of finger pointing. The point of this little story is that pointing fingers doesn't fix problems. Once the fire starts and the house burns, it's too late to point fingers. Detroit is at this point. The exodus has/is happened/ing. There are massive amounts of empty space. At the same time, there is an awesome opportunity to start over again. Why point fingers? From the many pictures I have seen and stories I have read, there seems to be a spirit in this city that won't quit. What an awesome thing! All of the history should be remembered and learned from, but the bad feelings and idiotic racism are not constructive and will not allow things to move forward.
    URBAN FARMING is a big way for Detroit to go. Milwaukee is also moving in that direction. Why can't the city be petitioned to take all of the abandoned land and turn it into a massive park? Job creation comes from clearing the homes that are no longer lived in. Businesses or work is created recycling(disposing of) the old building materials as the land is cleared. Use the city's diversity as a strength. Utilize open spaces for events that create unity through the differences that each ethnic group has. Detroit has the potential to become a model city, to show what community resurgence can do for urban decay and dilapidation.

    While I am not from Detroit, I did visit there as a boy during the early 1980s. I have followed the recent events that have been taking place and following the stories in the news. Detroit will probably never again be the "arsenal" of America's defense or the "Motor City", but it does have the ability to write a new story and find a new path.

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