Ashes to Ashes…

January 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm (By Randy)

(Detroit in Ruins in The Observer)


  1. Ron said,

    ah…ruin porn. That’s what this genre of photographs is called, and Detroit is the Jenna Jameson. (hmmm…first Jenna reference here at Ambiance? We may need to ask the Historian of The Ambiance Blog) Being a born and raised Detroiter, I saw plenty of this stuff even 40 years ago….Packard and Studebaker have factory remnants still hanging around. I love how the Studebaker plant was built to be bomb proof due to fears of looming Nazi air fleets coming to hit us…

    The moment I don’t forget was going the Detroit Institute of Arts one Saturday in the early ’70’s and seeing….no one. Not a security guard, not a museum person, not another patron….no one at all! I sat in a room with 6 Rembrandts and if I had evil intentions towards them…there was no one to stop me. I was there for over an hour and walked out still without seeing anyone in a huge museum in the downtown of the then 5th largest city in the US.

    Things have gotten better for the DIA since then however….

    I miss the old Hudson’s department store more than anything…back when a store would have 14000 employees in it at one time! Only Macy’s was bigger.

  2. Icepick said,

    A few things spring to mind immediately.

    First, I saw two abandonded baby grand pianos. I’m wondering if they were old enough to have ivory keys.

    Second, I think that the post-zombie apacolypse Atlanta seen in Walking Dead is more cheery.

    Three, at least this city was once vibrant. One wonders if some of the empty cities of China will ever be vibrant, or if their decay will be as sterile as their present condition.

    Finally, I’m reminded of the ghost city on Cyprus.

  3. Randy said,

    Good description, Ron. Compelling viewing, too.

    ‘pick: Like you, I wonder what’s going to happen to those empty cities. The people who bought the units as an investment (without borrowing I might add) are all holding on for higher prices. When does someone finally get around to selling? How long can they hold on before everything starts deteriorating due to age or lack of use? (Unlike the US, a used unit depreciates in value even if values overall are rising.)

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