These photographs are the results of a trip made to purposely photograph conditions in Detroit, which are extreme for a city in North America. In 2014 city officials reported that were 78,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit, and the number was increasing all the time. Office buildings, restaurants, supermarkets, malls, garages, medical buildings, corner stores, schools, churches, medical clinics, gyms, drug stores, public buildings, apartment towers, a huge train station, department stores, and houses. Thousands and thousands of houses. From two bedroom bungalows to 24-room mansions. All boarded up and broken into. Empty houses, empty streets, empty neighborhoods. Nobody home.
There were two million people 20-30 years ago. Now there are only 650,000, who live in a city that has little money for street repairs, police and fire services, public transport and most of the other services we take for granted.
We photographed a seven story, football-field sized car body plant, a church with an attached school, and a high school. It was a disquieting experience.
Yet amidst the ruin and desolation, beauty exists. Many homes have been bulldozed and gardens now grace the empty building sites. Detroit's terrific art museum, the staple cultural icon of every American city, is still open and exhibiting. The house where the Motown sound was born is now a hip, fun museum celebrating the music, musicians and stars of the Motown scene. For me that alone was worth the visit.