Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Detroit, a city in decay

Last week, the city of Detroit, Michigan filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. That was the latest episode in what is a long and painful decline of a once prosperous city. The automobile industry has shrunk, jobs have been lost, and the population has been reduced. During the last 60 years, Detroit has lost 60% of its residents. A significant amount of houses and other building has been left vacant making Detroit the American capital of urban decay. 

French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre met online in 2002, drawn by their love of abandoned places. They soon started visiting ruins in the suburbs of Paris taking photos separately but later decided to collaborate. Together, they've photographed urban ruins from all around the world. Their project "The Ruins of Detroit" is a 5-year collaboration, beginning in 2005. More information on their website:

SEE ALSO: More abandoned places in Detroit and around Michigan // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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(Click here for the full post)

Michigan Central Station

Ticket Lobby, Michigan Central Station

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel

Woodward Avenue

Old Lobby, Michigan Theater

Atrium, Farwell Building

18th floor dentist cabinet, David Broderick Tower

Donovan Building

David Whitney Building

Metropolitan & Wurlitzer Buildings

Fisher Body 21 Plant

United Artists Theater

William Livingstone House

Melted clock, Cass Technical High School

Piano, Saint Albertus School

East Methodist Church

Luben Apartments

Rich-Dex Apartments


Classroom, St Margaret Mary School

Biology classroom, Wilbur Wright High School

St Christopher House, ex-Public Library

Vanity Ballroom

Jane Cooper Elementary School, Spring 2008

Jane Cooper Elementary School, Spring 2009

Highland Park Police Station

Remains of blood samples, Highland Park Poilice Station

Lobby, Broderick Tower

Laboratory, Cass Technical High School

Public Schools Book Depository
Adams Theater

Metropolitan & Wurlitzer Buildings

Fort Shelby Hotel

Ballroom, American Hotel

Former Unitarian Church

Room 1504, Lee Plaza Hotel

Packard Motors Plant

Packard Motors Plant



  1. These photographs are beautiful, saddening, nostalgic... so many things for a native Detroiter. Thank you for sharing them.

  2. Thanks for sharing - I had seen a few pics of Detroit recently but these are amazing. It's hard to believe it has happened slowly over time as things like the dentist chair look like they were just suddenly left.

  3. Destruction brought to you by capitalism and greed.

    1. Made that everything on the first place anyway! What's your point?

    2. Well, capitalism also built it. Just the cyclical nature of boom and bust

    3. No, brought to you by 60 years of liberal and union corruption. It's sad, I love this city's history, but put the "greed" part where it belongs.

  4. So compelling. Thank you for sharing your vision.

  5. Wow! .... I didn't know that Detroit is practically going to become a ghost town ... that's very sad, I really hope it won't happen. Great photos anyway.

    1. There's still an enormous amount of beautiful buildings new, old and restored. Many of these photos are of building in small areas of a 150sq mile city. Still lots of life there.

  6. Why don't people regenerate the place? Put up aquaponic systems, grow food etc.?

  7. Why didn't the closed police station take the evidence when they left? Also wondering why the libraries close and just leave the books there.

  8. It's sad to see those fine pianos in decay. I can imagine people shutting down a location, but not having any space to put a perfectly good piano so it's put to waste. Then again that kind of thought could be used for any item in these pictures

  9. I couldn't resist my tears :'( ...

  10. Perhaps others have noticed, but the name and date on the blood samples identify the person they belong to as a serial killer Ben Atkins, who was found guilty of killing 11 women. Seems like the police would keep this sample as surely he may have killed more. Yikes...

  11. Old article. Half the stuff in this post has been renovated.

  12. I think you found the most depressing photos

  13. I'm glad to hear renovation had taken place but it's a real shame for a city to let itself go like that in the first place


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