Abandoned Detroit City: From 2000 onwards

Abandoned Detroit

Before and After Pictures of Abandoned Detroit Buildings and Abandoned Mansions are also Included in this Article.

The city of Detroit, Michigan, USA was once a flourishing industrial powerhouse, the home of the American automotive industry and the birthplace of Motown. Since the 1960s though, the city has endured a sustained period of decline which resulted in Detroit becoming the largest US city to ever declare for bankruptcy in 2013. Abandoned Detroit buildings are now an ever-present aspect of the cityscape, with some even going as far as calling it The Abandoned City.

Abandoned Detroit
One of the many boarded up buildings in Detroit.

Anglo-French colonial settlement called Detroit was established in 1701 by French adventurer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. previously known as Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit in honor of the Minister of Marine Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, who served as the French king’s Minister of Marine. By 1765, it had become the biggest city between Montreal and New Orleans thanks to a generous land grant from the French government. As part of the Province of Quebec, it became known as Detroit after the British took control following the Seven Years’ War. It was a British colony that ceded its land and established a border with Canada in response to the American War of Independence.

Detroit was completely destroyed by fire in 1805, with only a few remaining structures. There were no fatalities, and the city was able to begin the process of rebuilding. It was briefly handed over to the British during the War of 1812, but was retaken by the US in 1813. In 1815, Detroit became a main city of Michigan Territory. On 26 January 1837, Michigan became the 26th state to join the Union.

Abandoned Detroit was built with a lot of big streets and became known as the Paris of the West. People lived in nice homes on the grand streets to the east and west of downtown. Woodward Avenue, in particular, was a favorite place for the city’s rich and famous to live.

Abandoned Detroit
Many of the city’s grand mansions have now been abandoned.
Abandoned Detroit City
Many houses in Detroit’s suburbs have been abandoned.

Ancient Economy of Abandoned Detroit

The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903, and it was quickly followed by Dodge, Chrysler, Packard, and others. Along with shipbuilding, the automobile industry fueled the city’s economy, propelling it to the fourth largest in the United States by 1920, trailing only New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The Great Migration exacerbated racial tensions in the city, and the city’s growing population exacerbated social unrest. Detroit was smack dab in the middle of the civil rights struggle. Nearly 400,000 migrants arrived in the city as the auto industry was retooled to meet the demands of World War II. The resulting tension resulted in the 1943 Detroit race riot, which killed 34 people.

Population of Detroit

Detroit’s population had peaked at 1.8 million by 1950. African Americans from the South continued to arrive in the city, hoping to avoid the South’s segregation laws and racial discrimination policies. Black people were still discriminated against, but the civil rights movement gained momentum, resulting in significant changes to federal civil rights laws in 1964 and 1965. During this time, Detroit was the birthplace of Motown. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned label that achieved major crossover success in the 1960s. Artists such as The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Jackson 5 achieved worldwide acclaim.

Motown 1
Motown founder Berry Gordon with the legendary Diana Ross.

Why Detroit is Abandoned?

The racial tensions that remained in Detroit culminated in the July 1967 Twelfth Street riot, in which 43 people were killed and over 2,000 properties were destroyed. A phenomenon known as white flight resulted in the departure of a large number of white families from the city. Coleman Young became Detroit’s first black mayor in 1973.

The oil crisis had a significant impact on the auto industry the same year, with thousands of people losing their jobs. Following a long period of economic decline, efforts to reverse the trend officially began in the 1990s.

With the onset of the world recession in the late 2000s, the number of people purchasing automobiles fell precipitously, and the auto sector in Detroit suffered greatly. Companies such as Ford, General Motors, and Pontiac laid off thousands of workers, causing the population to drop by 25%, dropping it from the 10th to the 18th largest city in the United States in just ten years. The large auto plants were abandoned, and as the employees moved on, so did their homes.

Because of the widespread urban decay, it was designated as a greyfield. Buildings such as Michigan Central Station, Cass Technical High School, and the Hotel Charlevoix were all abandoned during the city’s long period of economic decline.

Abandoned Detroit City
The exterior of the Vanity Ballroom in Detroit.
Abandoned Detroit City
Inside the Vanity Ballroom.

Detroit city today

Today, despite large urban renewal projects, Detroit suffers from unemployment, poverty, and other social issues. Unfortunately, many neighborhoods have become no-go zones, with houses left derelict and abandoned, creating a virtual ghost town in some areas.

Many of the city’s social problems have been documented by the rapper Eminem, both in his music and in the film 8 Mile, which is named after a road in the working-class neighborhood where he grew up. The detroit abandoned buildings have become hotbeds of criminal activity, and it is expected that it will be many years before Detroit recovers.

Before and After Pictures of Detroit

Below down some before and after photos of detroit which you can realize a comparison how abandoned detroit is vanished.

Book-Cadillac Hotel

ook-Cadillac Hotel

Brush Park, 1881 and 2013

Brush Park, 1881 and 2013
Abandoned Detroit City

In the past, Brush Park was a popular place for Detroit’s rich and famous to live. It was a neighborhood of Victorian homes that covered more than 20 blocks.

When there were 300 homes, only 70 remain today.

Chalmers Motor Company.

Abandoned Detroit City

Chalmers was a popular Detroit-based automaker known for its low-cost vehicles.

In 1991, the factory was infamously demolished.

Collingwood and Hamilton

Collingwood and Hamilton, Abandoned Detroit City

Eastown Theater, 1930 and 2013

Eastown Theater, 1930 and 2013, Abandoned Detroit City

Fort Shelby Hotel Ballroom.

Fort Shelby Hotel Ballroom, Abandoned Detroit City

The Fort Shelby Hotel, built in 1916, had an incredible grand ballroom that hosted countless concerts, gala events, and weddings until it was closed down in 1974.

The Hilton chain purchased the hotel in 2007 and extensively renovated it; today, Shelby hosts weddings and events once more.

Harper Theater, 1941 and 2013.

Harper Theater, 1941 and 2013, Abandoned Detroit City

In 1939, he made his debut at the Harper Theater on Harper Avenue in Detroit. After 1973, the theather’s once-renovated home became a venue for heavy metal concerts, and its name was changed to Harpo’s.

Orchestra Hall Main Floor and Balcony, 1970 and 2013

Orchestra Hall Main Floor and Balcony, 1970 and 2013, Abandoned Detroit City

Woodward Avenue Businesses, 1915 and 2013.

Abandoned Detroit City

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