Monday, August 17, 2015

(Photos) Abandoned homes near Detroit's Telegraph Road

Below are the opening lyrics of my favorite Dire Straits song, "Telegraph Road."
A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
He built a cabin and a winter store
And he plowed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travelers came riding down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back
Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the Telegraph Road.
Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler was inspired to write "Telegraph Road" while on a bus ride to a Detroit area concert. It's about the passage of the region from pastoral beauty to urban wasteland.

Only a small portion of Telegraph Road runs through Detroit--from just south of 6 Mile Road to up to 8 Mile. The sign on top is at 7 Mile Road.

All of these photographs were taken within a block or two of Telegraph on a rainy July morning.

The Detroit Open School on Frisbee Street closed in 2010.

This home will soon be razed.

Note the tiny "union bug" on the bottom left side of the sign. Using a less expensive non-union--and likely better--printer would save Detroit taxpayers money.

The home on the right was just demolished. Next to it is a house that should be.

As for the telephone pole and the wire in front, I return to Knopfler.
And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the Telegraph Road.

This was once a quaint cottage.

Its garage is in rough shape too.

Detroit residents have to endure long wait times when they call the police.

One of Detroit's many invasive weed trees--this one is a mulberry--emerges in a back yard.

Another overgrown back yard. Oh, this abandoned home has brick asphalt siding--which used to be a common sight on houses but it fell out of favor in the 1960s. This type of siding often contains asbestos.

And the garage is stuffed with trash.

Walking inside that house is not a smart idea--going upstairs would be insane.

Boarded up Walgreens are a rare sight, but in Detroit all things are possible. To be fair there is an open CVS across the street.

Still, I have to return to Knopfler and Dire Straits.
From all of these signs saying sorry but we're closed
All the way down the Telegraph Road.
Hey, let's have a listen to Telegraph Road.

1 comment:

Ron said...

We used to travel down Telegraph Road from Monroe to Detroit. It's sad to see how bad things have come to when getting to Detroit.