House in Dying Detroit bought for $100


Not the $100 house. This house has now been demolished.

On a day when scientists are releasing new information on Kiuic, a ancient Mayan city where it now appears that the inhabitants just walked away in approximately 900AD, leaving a city frozen in time, I thought we would revisit Detroit (which we’ve looked at before a couple of times, here and here), the modern day equivalent of a disappearing city.

Designed to accommodate over two million inhabitants, the population of Detroit is now down under 900,000.  The average house price is approximately $11,000.  There had been rumours that someone purchased a house for as little as $100.  This purchase has now been confirmed.

So interesting and out of the ordinary has the situation become in Detroit that Time magazine has purchased an old mansion there. This will be used to house several journalists so that they might document for an entire year what is happening in the city.

Others are there before them, including two photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, who have captured the abandonment of the city in a magnificent photo essay.  Schools, libraries, factories, apartment buildings, churches, theatres, hotels, railway stations, banks — all those vast public arenas and infrastructure that contribute to a city and its functioning, abandoned. (I love photos of abandoned buildings.)

bank vault

Abandoned Bank Vault

All is not lost, however.  There is some good news within the city limits.  Residents who have stayed are now taking over empty and derelict sections next to their own and turning them into private gardens and parks. In neighbouring cities, similarly affected by plant closures,  there has even been talk of homeowners being able to annex the next-door properties if they had been abandoned.  Apparently it is cheaper for this to happen rather than have the council take care of the property.

There is also some evidence that artists are being attracted to the area by the cheap property and are setting up artistic enclaves within the city. And what a goldmine for photographers! Where else could you get shots like this?



4 Responses

  1. Isn’t that first house the place where the Addams Family used to live?
    You can tell a city is in the shit when your local undead start moving out…

  2. I’d quite like the shelves in the pic above with all the cool drawers. Probably stolen by now by marauding antique dealers raiding the abandoned houses.

  3. […] Duffster’s posts on depression ravaged Detroit (which you can read here, here and here) and the pictures of abandoned houses got me scouring the web for […]

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