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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

James D. Griffioen: Disappearing Detroit

I lived for 15 years in southeast Michigan. It's possible that my proximity to the city of Detroit influenced my interest in ruins. We have included a number of links to Detroit ruins, as they are disturbing and fascinating all at once. One of the most awe inspiring sites that deals with the ruins of Detroit is James D. Griffioen's website.Griffioen is a native Michigander, three years my elder. Clearly his obsession with the ruins of Detroit surpasses my own.

In particularly, I would direct you to the section which he calls "feral houses." There are dozens of pictures of Detroit houses that have literally been swallowed or chewed up by vegetation. It's amazing.

The Lost Neighborhoods section is also pretty amazing. You really get a sense of how the city has been abandoned and left to rot, with block after block of abandoned real estate.

In the Scrappers section, Griffioen explains how scavengers loot the buildings and strip them of everything of value. On the flip side is the Vernacular Security part, which shows how people defend their abandoned buildings. Finally, the section on the Detroit Public Schools Book Depository tells the story of one particular building, and how it became a ruin.

This site is worth exploring, so take you time and look through the pictures.

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