Post-industrial Detroit

Detroit has fallen on hard times over the past number of years. According to the 2010 census, population has decreased from a 1950 high of 1.8 million.

The statistics show that the Motor City’s population fell to 713,777 in 2010, compared to 951,270 in 2000. Although a significant drop was expected, state demographer Ken Darga said the number is “considerably lower” than the Census Bureau’s estimate last year.

The crime rate is high in comparison to many other cities as well. This graph was created from the Area Connect Detroit site comparing various types of crime in Detroit, New York City, and national averages.

As could be expected from this data, large areas of the city are being abandoned. In their book “The Ruins of Detroit”, French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre set out to document the decline of an American city.

Detroit, industrial capital of the XXth Century, played a fundamental role shaping the modern world. The logic that created the city also destroyed it. Nowadays, unlike anywhere else, the city’s ruins are not isolated details in the urban environment. They have become a natural component of the landscape. Detroit presents all archetypal buildings of an American city in a state of mummification. Its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great Empire.

Here are a few of the images from their book.

Atrium Farwell Building

United Artists Theater

St Margaret Mary School

Room 1504 Plaza Hotel

Ballroom of the Lee Plaza Hotel

More photos here.

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