Detroit - Intrepid beauty turned to dust

OVERKILL

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I'm no American historian, that's for sure. However, I love old architecture and have been a bit of an URBEX history with my best friend. I'm sure many are familiar with some of the beautiful architecture constructed during the industrial revolution and the heyday of the auto industry. Unlike in Europe though, the US and Canada don't seem to put the same weight on their history and its preservation, allowing things to decay and ultimate rot away, not recognizing their legacy until it is long gone. This happened most famously in Canada with the Bluenose, but of course there are myriad architectural examples.

I was reminded of this by a twitter thread which shared these two images of the same space in Detroit:
1657223760051.jpg

1657223775301.jpg


Down-thread, a UK train station was presented that was abandoned, turned into a carpark, and then renovated to its former glory and incorporated into a new train station. Very little of that happens here.

Another reminder of Detroit's former beauty is covered in this URBEX video:


I cannot get over the auditorium in this school, it was truly breathtaking in its detail and lavish appointments.

So many incredible architectural structures have been levelled and turned into carparks, parking lots...etc. Tragic. In Europe, they are typically converted into residential space (apartments or condos) with their architecture retained, I wish there was more of that here.
 
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Years ago we almost lost the Fox Theatre to the headache ball. It was closed for a few decades and then reopened and reinvested by smart couple. Many of these same era theatres had already met their fate.

 

OVERKILL

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Years ago we almost lost the Fox Theatre to the headache ball. It was closed for a few decades and then reopened and reinvested by smart couple. Many of these same era theatres had already met their fate.
We ended up saving, locally, the oldest high school in the area (older than Canadian confederation) by letting it get turned into an adult education centre. While I lament its loss as a high school (I spent one year there before moving down east, it was a beautiful school) I'm glad that we were able to preserve its structure and beauty.
 
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When the city is basically a slum and housing prices are low, there's just no money to do any preservation.
 
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I'm not sure about Canadian and European tax system, but in the US a lot of the services are local funded and local sourced. This tend to create a decentralized system that cities, counties, states compete with each other and often end up with upward and downward spiral of boom and bust that centralized government (i.e. dictatorships and central powered nations) do not have. Booms lead to higher property value and local income, and therefore tax revenue, and tax revenue increase lead to better local services and better quality of live, and better property value. The opposite is true as well: reduced income leads to lower property value, attracts lower income residents, leads to higher crime rate, and leads to further property value reduction, lower tax bases, less services, worse quality of live, lower property value, again and again.

Many boom towns got their core businesses pouched to their neighboring area and slowly decline into a slum, then when they become cheap enough to redevelop they will be torn down and replaced with brand new developments.
 
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Years ago we almost lost the Fox Theatre to the headache ball. It was closed for a few decades and then reopened and reinvested by smart couple. Many of these same era theatres had already met their fate.

I remember going there in the 1990s after it reopened to see Casablanca. Seems an appropriate venue for such a classic. We go several times a year to take in various plays, musicals and concerts.
 
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I saw Sammy Hagar there in the early 80's, 7th row center, likely a partial reason my hearing is so bad now :cool:
 
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