Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

With overpaid executives begging Congress to keep a shrinking, 1920s-era industry limping along for another few months (just in case Hummers come back in style), it seems like a good time to showcase one of my favorite websites: The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit.

This Studebaker plant built autos between 1910 and 1928, and burned to the ground in 2005. The Studebaker corporation produced its first electric autos in 1902, and its first gasoline autos in 1904. Its car manufacturing business was defunct by 1964:

Packard Motors produced its first automobiles in 1899, and closed its last plants in 1956:

East of downtown, the former industrial Rivertown neighborhood is one of many accidental restoration sites where wild prairie ecosystems are re-infiltrating the city center. Looming in the background is "The Renaissance Center," the ironically-named GM headquarters complex, aloof from its surroundings, destined to become Detroit's next fabulous ruin.

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