Monday, January 12, 2009

Across town, twenty years later

Ok, lets leave the neighborhood that we've been focusing on and go across town to Chene St., just down the road from where the gun shop is located that was featured on the last post from detroitblog (I'll list it again). The above picture shows this "overlapping" that Far was talking about. Twenty years ago, this neighborhood did not look all that different than the neighborhood we've been focusing on. Back then, there were many more businesses and homes in this area some abandoned, some not. This area was "permitted" to fall, it fell so far into decay there were few attempts being made to try to restore it, in a way...

Lets really take a close look at the picture above, notice the "openness"? This is where businesses lined the edge of the street and behind them, homes. Notice the piles of "fill" or earth that have been dumped there? This was a very common practice back then as it appears is today. When buildings fall much of it goes into the basement (if there was one) and with this "fill" would be "capped over" making the appearance of the lot never lived on...

I was just shocked to see how much this part of town had changed! It was the first time that I've visited the area, since my leaving Detroit over twenty years ago. I had the feeling that this part had gotten much more "tamer" than what it was back then. Maybe that was because, there were a lot fewer people that could be seen in the area now, than before.


(click to get a larger image)

Even along the "business strip" almost nobody. There were very, very few businesses that appeared open, most either boarded up or gates and bars drawn for good. Oh, I remember the gates and bars, twenty years ago, but many of the businesses were open and the sidewalks had people on them. Truly, a modern day ghost town.


I can very well remember driving through this part of town with the owner/contractor that I worked for, "looking for a hole" or a place to unload the dump trucks that would be coming loaded with fill. I can remember almost pleading to this man, can't anything be done to stop the decay? The owner replied, "We're doing it, we're gonna bury it."
Never did I imagine at the time that capping over one or two lots between homes would become vast areas of fields and meadows, as those homes fell over the years. I suppose I should have, as sometimes burying the past can provide a new opportunity in the future, at least that was the intent...

1 comment:

splendid said...
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