Detroit in photographs (and a real estate listing)

Michigan Central Station

Michigan Central Station

At the end of the XIXth Century, mankind was about to fulfill an old dream. The idea of a fast and autonomous means of displacement was slowly becoming a reality for engineers all over the world. Thanks to its ideal location on the Great Lakes Basin, the city of Detroit was about to generate its own industrial revolution. Visionary engineers and entrepreneurs flocked to its borders….

For the first time of history, affluence was within the reach of the mass of people. Monumental skyscapers and fancy neighborhoods put the city’s wealth on display. Detroit became the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. Thousands of migrants came to find a job. By the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit became the 4th largest city in the United States.

As you no doubt know, Detroit attempted to file for bankruptcy this week. In their book, The Ruins of Detroit, two Parisian photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, catalogued the depths of destitution to which Detroit has fallen from these heady heights. Find a slide show here.

william livingston house

William Livingston House

Fisher Body Plant 21

Fisher Body Plant #21

Lee Plaza Hotel Ballroom

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel

United Artists Theatre

United Artists Theatre

The last photo is not from Marchand and Meffre. It’s a screenshot from a real estate listing discovered by New York Times statistician Nate Silver: A 2,500-square-foot home in Detroit on sale for $1.

Detroit House for sale