I'm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a few days for work. I lived here a few years ago, and it's always so fun to be back. When I was living here, I was repeatedly struck by the number of abandoned houses in Detroit--blocks and blocks and blocks of them. Equally evident was how many of these had once been lovely houses in what were obviously once-thriving neighborhoods. It was really heartbreaking to see these houses that had once been home to birthday parties, Friday nights in front of the TV, and kids playing in the yard now just empty and boarded up--literally shells of their former selves. The problem is highlighted all the more by the fact that many of the surrounding suburbs are so lovely and affluent.
Maybe that's why Kevin Bauman's 100 Abandoned Houses project speaks so much to me. This powerful collection of images highlights the sad state of Detroit's neighborhoods. In a city where the population has declined from more than 2 million to only 800,000, there are a lot more than 100 abandoned houses, but wow, his 100 examples of Detroit's decay make the bleak point.