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Disturbing fotos


woolybanana

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I used to make relatively regular visits to Detroit in the 1980s and early 1990s. It actually did look like they had had a war there: acres of derelict buildings and factories, whole blocks bulldozed because the property taxes hadn't been paid. I drove out to see the Ford museum in Dearborn nearby and the first part of the road - originally a dual carriageway - was in some places reduced to single track (and I don't mean single carriageway) by a factory wall that had collapsed onto the road over a distance of some hundred yards or so. It hadn't happened the previous day either: there was simply no city cash to clear it.

You can see some of the effects of this by using the "wind back the clock" feature in Google Earth. Unfortunately it won't take you back to the 1950s.

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Thanks for the photos Wooly. They are very depressing. I think they show a community which has lost self-respect and any belief in itself. I don't think that this is something Western Europe will willingly follow.

I cannot say about France, but in Britain there are organisations like the National Trust and the Civic Trust which work to preserve buildings and the built environment, and there are individuals who care, too.

The following website http://www.theregal.ac/ shows a preservation project in a small English town.

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Yes CK, the Regal project is an example of what can be achieved, but parts of Detroit seem to have reached the stage where noone cares, where the morale has gone and where the money has moved away too. Under those circumstances, even the work of the NT and the CT would fail I think.

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Oh dear.

BIG foot in mouth event. I have just discovered that the Civic Trust went into administration a year ago. However, there are still people and organisations around who care about their communities and want to preserve and enhance their environment.

 ...but parts of Detroit seem to have reached the stage where noone cares, where the morale has gone and where the money has moved away too. 

Sadly I agree. But if one individual, with drive and commitment and vision, decided to try to regenerate just one of  Detroits fading treasures he may be able to renew some of that morale. Or is this (.. tread carefully ..) something inherent in the American psyche? A consequence of the Melting Pot mentality? Americans are so sold on their own myths of economic superiority that when things do go wrong they lack the reserves to fight back?


 

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One of the core causes to Detroit's civic malaise I believe was "White Flight": as more and more incomers moved in to work in the car plants, then many of the original inhabitants moved to newer suburban developments. New big freeways meant that commuting became a tenable option.

Travelling from long Island into Penn Central in 1979, I was amazed at the miles of disused buildings and decay as I came into New York: and then, the decay of the streets: huge holes in the roads right down to sand.

New York city was bankrupt then of course.

Detroit's gone the same way.

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[quote user="Gluestick"]One of the core causes to Detroit's civic malaise I believe was "White Flight": as more and more incomers moved in to work in the car plants, then many of the original inhabitants moved to newer suburban developments. New big freeways meant that commuting became a tenable option.

Travelling from long Island into Penn Central in 1979, I was amazed at the miles of disused buildings and decay as I came into New York: and then, the decay of the streets: huge holes in the roads right down to sand.

New York city was bankrupt then of course.

Detroit's gone the same way.


[/quote]

That's a long journey to support a point, a subway to the Bronx should be enough.[;-)]

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[quote user="pachapapa"]

That's a long journey to support a point, a subway to the Bronx should be enough.[;-)]

[/quote]

The journey, was not to support any point: rather to reach NY NY for a business meeting in Manhattan.

The salient point was, for me, that the wealthiest city in the World was a seething tip, once one ventured outside the "nice bits".

Same with DC.

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[quote user="Gluestick"][quote user="pachapapa"]

That's a long journey to support a point, a subway to the Bronx should be enough.[;-)]

[/quote]

The journey, was not to support any point: rather to reach NY NY for a business meeting in Manhattan.

The salient point was, for me, that the wealthiest city in the World was a seething tip, once one ventured outside the "nice bits".

Same with DC.


[/quote]

Nice Bits?  Them bits what are stones throw away like china town and the bowery.

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[quote user="Patf"]You could take a similar string of photos of the many abandoned chateaux around here. And other rambling old country houses.

People don't seem to go in for that sort of grandeur any more.

[/quote]

Not sure, Pat.

See here: Penn Central Station Concourse has all been wonderfully restored.

And Los Angeles Union Station has been superbly restored, too.

See Here:

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