Saturday, March 21, 2009

Detroit's Beautiful Decline

As many of you already know, I'm crazy about Detroit. Time Magazine just featured a photo essay about Detroit by two French artists. Check out the small gallery here, it's beautiful. Even more on their website here. From the Marchand & Meffre website concerning the Ruins of Detroit project:

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit
developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry.

Until the 50's, its population rose to almost 2 million people.
Detroit was the 4th most important city in the United States.

It was the dazzling symbol of the American Dream City with its monumental skyscrapers and fancy neighborhoods.

Increasing of segregation and deindustrialization caused violent riots in 1967. The white middle-class exodus from the city accelerated and the suburbs grew. Firms and factories began to close or move to lower-wage states. Slowly, but inexorably downtown high-rise buildings emptied.

Since the 50's, "Motor City" lost more than half of its population.

Nowadays, its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great civilization.