If one city could hold the title of Urban Decay Capital of the Western World, it would arguably be Detroit. Despite a revitalized downtown, various urban renewal efforts have failed to save many of the Motor City’s troubled neighbourhoods. Surveys have revealed a staggering percentage of residential lots either vacant or unsuitable for occupancy, and a 2010 plan escalated the clearing of entire neighbourhoods to effectively “downsize” the city.
Scott Carey has documented a selection of Detroit’s abandoned houses on largely depopulated streets. In some cases, the dilapidated structures are the last ones standing in their immediate neighbourhoods, as adjoining buildings have already met the wrecking ball.
Now a paradise for urban explorers, Detroit was America’s fourth largest city during the 1950s, a boom town riding the wave of automotive production. But decades later, and exaccerbated by the economic downturn of 2008, the city’s considerable modern ruins have multiplied.
Some streets boast more abandoned residences than occupied ones. Elsewhere, isolated homes stand amid vast swaths of green that now blanket areas of suburban detroit, lonely reminders of neighbourhoods past and harbingers of demolition yet to come.
Some of them even resemble artist Mike Doyle’s acclaimed abandoned homes – built entirely from LEGO!