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The first images to come out of a natural disaster never fail to leave me stunned. Well, this is what the aftermath of an economic disaster in our own country looks like. This is Detroit. Like they say in the Chrysler Eminem Super Bowl commercial, the Motor City has been to “hell and back.”

Detroit in Ruins - Lee Plaza Hotel

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel

Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre’s photographs of this once magnificent city are haunting … devastating … and beautiful. They say in their book and website, “Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.”

Detroit in Ruins - William Livingston House

William Livingstone House

Marchand and Meffre’s photos remind me of the genius of man, the glory of great of design and the fragility of even steel and stone. For those who built Detroit and those who live in Detroit, I want to see this city make a come back.

Detroit in Ruins - United Artists Theater

United Artists Theater

Detroit in Ruins - Bagley Clifford Office

National Bank of Detroit

Detroit in Ruins - Michigan Central Station

Michigan Central Station

Detroit in Ruins - Fisher Body Plant

Fisher Body 21 Plant

23 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, these are so poignant, so moving!

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chane Realty and Hugh, Grand Homes. Grand Homes said: Detroit in Ruins: Jaw-Dropping Photos of Houses & Buildings: The first images to come out of a nat… http://bit.ly/f9g8zw #design @hgtv [...]

  3. heidi says:

    My heart broke to think of that detailing gone.I wish I lived among those buildings.

  4. Peg says:

    It's sad to think but as you look at these pictures we need to realize this is how the ancient cities fell. History does repeat itself. We need to take heart to what we do with our precious cities. Do we want the same end.

  5. Sweet1plum2000 says:

    Hopefully as they re-build their city they will add some gorgeous new buildings.

  6. indiapiedaterre says:

    To those who grew up in the era of a splendorous downtown Hudson's, as my parents did, this is so so sad. Although there is beauty in photos of decay, I just wish this wasn't Detroit because what brought these photos about certainly isn't beautiful.

    • Anna@HGTV says:

      While my mother's family is from Kentucky, she grew up in Detroit. I remember her taking me there when I was a little girl. My aunt had mentioned the crumbling Victorian houses to me a few years ago. When I heard about this book, I new I had to share it with y'all. The Chrysler Eminem commercial is powerful, too.

  7. Suzi says:

    i used to live in Detroit. My Grandpa worked for Fisher Body 35 years, he was a tool and die maker. i do not understand how anyone can let this important city in our countrys history just dry up and disappear. I too used to go downtown with my parents and shop….these photos are so sad to me.

    • Anna@HGTV says:

      The automotive industry and Motown gave so much to our country. Hopefully music and cars will bring this city back again.

  8. Renee says:

    I'm not sure which moved me more, the photos or this dialog.

  9. ohmyreally says:

    The absolute affect of failed liberal policies that create a dependent society, tax and spend attitude v a self sustaining, low tax, economic friendly one. The Michigan Governor and Indiana Governor entered office the exact same time, with similar debt and money problems…Michigan raised taxes and sank deeper, Indiana lowered and is now in the black, even in this economic mess.

    • Nichols School alum says:

      I've lived here for 78 years and I can tell you it does not boil down to one Michigan Governor. Many things happened over the last 50 to 60 years to create such a sad situation. My heart breaks for Detroit and its people. Many people, in power and in the general citizenry, found it easier to turn their heads away and go to greener pastures. But the true beauty of present day Detroit are the people who stayed and those souls living in the suburbs now but who carry a loving concern with them always for Detroit. All of these people love Detroit for what it can once again be, and God Bless those with giant hearts who do what they can to sustain the City and it's people day to day.

  10. ragmaniac says:

    Absolutely fantastic opportunities for aspiring renovators and designers. Perhaps the money could come from HGTV.com and HGTV.ca launching new scholarships.

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