Detropia,”Once the fastest-growing city in the world, it’s now the fastest-shrinking city in the United States.” AR (now on VUDU/iTunes)
Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now … the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, Detropia sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.
Dave Jordano went back to his hometown of Detroit to show another perspective from the usual ruin porn prevalent online. He has provided info for every image which you should read including this for the bottom left photo:
“Mrs. Riley has been living in this house for over 45 years and the ivy has been growing on it for as long as she can remember. Structures such as these begin to take a life of their own, gracing themselves with symbolic undertones, such as longevity and perseverance. Many photographers have pictured this house from the side showing only the ivy, making it appear as if it’s an abandoned structure. I’d like to set the record straight and confirm that it isn’t.”
The waiting room of Detroit’s once-grand train depot, Michigan Central Station, long after the last train rolled out in 1988.
Until the mid-20th century, Detroit was the most significant industrial town in the world, and Albert Kahn was its architect. The son of German immigrants built factories and sky scrapers like they were coming off a conveyor belt. And then, just as quickly as his city grew, it was abandoned.
The old white-haired man was awarded the medal for outstanding service during wartime and TIME magazine praised him enthusiastically: Albert Kahn’s contribution to the defeat of enemy powers is greater that that of most others, a journalist wrote in 1942. But the 73-year-old man had never seen the front line during the World War II. He fought, so to speak, from his desk in an office in Detroit.
Spiegel: Albert Khan and the Decline of Detroit