© 2010 Deana Tsang

Decay and Abandonment

The Ruins of Detroit by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre Photography

Detroit, industrial capital of the XXth Century, played a fundamental role shaping the modern world. The logic that created the city also destroyed it. Nowadays, unlike anywhere else, the city’s ruins are not isolated details in the urban environment. They have become a natural component of the landscape. Detroit presents all archetypal buildings of an American city in a state of mummification. 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 Empire.

I honestly find that the visual effect of abandoned buildings and structures a bit fascinating. I love the idea of imagining what once was there and what kind life had once occupied a certain space. Sometimes it can be quite saddening and shame that such grand buildings, as the ones that I have included in my post, are forgotten and people often interpret ruins such as these as being symbols of neglect or desertion. However, the quote above describes how I’d like people to think about the concept of decay, I find that buildings that have been forgotten by some, in fact, serve as a representation of memories for others and are instead regarded as symbols of a recollected past. Respect is what I think these photographers intended for people to take away from these photographs, respect for what was and what is currently there as well as admiration for these monumental structures of Detroit. What’s also rather incredible about these photos is that they look so stylized, almost surreal despite the fact that this is, naturally, just how time has served them.

Michigan Central Station

Bagley-Clifford Office of the National Bank of Detroit

Ballroom, American Hotel

Fisher Body 21 Plant

United Artists Theater

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel

St Christopher House, ex-Public Library

See the rest of ‘The Ruins of Detroit’ set on the Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre Photography website here.

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