Jul 9, 2009

Detroit's abandoned houses

It seems that I've read a lot about Detroit's problems lately. Fewer than 25% of Detroit's high school freshman will receive a diploma. The asthma rates rival those of the Bronx. And as the auto factories close up shop the unemployment rates are sky-rocketing and the abandoned, charred, and foreclosed homes are exacerbating what the NYT called "the death of a city."* That article last weekend was interesting and touching and really drove home (no pun intended) the culture of the auto plants and the how the African American residents of Detroit came to rely so heavily on the success of these plants. I sound like I'm back at Smith... Anyway, yesterday the NYT online published a brief blurb about this artist who has documented the abandoned houses within Detroit. The photos on his website are beautiful and simple and heartbreaking. There are no people involved, and often only the basic structure of the house remains. Definitely worth looking at. *Also, it spawned Eminem.

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