Today I went on a short tour around Detroit to look at some of the infamous ‘ruins of Detroit’. It was pretty fascinating. What struck me most was not so much the ‘big spaces’ (a church, school & factory) we visited but how many suburban houses were completely derelict. It was astonishing. On some streets, up to 80% of the houses were not just empty, but decayed to ruin… its really unbelievable. These were beautiful big homes that stand silently side by side in decay. Street after street, suburb after suburb.
The process of decay is apparently helped by scavengers that rip out any valuable resources – mainly copper wire and plumbing. The next thing to go is the roof and/or windows and once the weather can get in its all over.
In addition to the pics I already posted, we visited an abandoned broadcasting school – WDTR. They used to broadcast both radio (FM) and television from these premises. I used to manage radio stations in New Zealand and have a long history of working in radio (and started a TV station in NZ too) so I was really fascinated to see this. The building was only relatively recently abandoned, and apparently, the scavengers have only just started to tear it apart, so there was some amazing stuff left in the building… it was a really incredible afternoon… sobering and fascinating. It reminded me also of ex-Soviet Union ruins I had explored in Latvia (eg. RT32) and gave me some time to reflect on how no society is impervious to massive decay.
Included are some photos of the announcer studios, old school TV cameras, video mixers, reel to reel 32 track tapes and much more…including a couple of old photos we found on the floor of the days when the radio station was operational.