Monday, August 24, 2015

(Photos) Part one: Abandoned homes in Detroit's Grixdale Farms neighborhood

The most blighted part of the Motor City I encountered during my fact finding trip to Detroit was the Grixdale Farms neighborhood. It's between the exclave suburb of Hamtramck and 7 Mile Road.


Pictured above are decaying Michigan bungalows. Unlike the Chicago brick version that I am much more familiar with, these houses, inspired by the late 19th and early 20th century Arts and Crafts Movement and Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School, were built mainly with wood. These houses were likely built in the 1920s--that decade was to Detroit what the 1990s were to Silicon Valley.


This ramshackle mess might be a Michigan bungalow too. Or a ranch home. The ailanthus trees growing inside of this house on McDougall Street don't seem to care.


When I was a boy I dreamed of a tree house. There are plenty Detroit-style tree houses throughout the Motor City--and they can be purchased cheaply. Although this one, which has been engulfed by mulberry and Siberian elm trees, is slated for demolition.


It looks like the more modest house on the right caught fire first--likely it was arson--and damaged the once stately two-story home on the left. I can imagine that a family with ten kids used to live in that one.


The porch roof on this green house collapsed.


In small towns old gas station structures are sometimes used as tourism offices. While there is much to see in Detroit--this one has not been converted as of yet.


My guess is that this was a Sunoco station. Sunoco still has a large presence in Detroit.


The door is open--actually there isn't one--at this home on Klinger Street with the satellite dish on the right. Let's walk in!


Just as I figured--no one is home.


Despite the clutter--this place is probably salvageable...


Although a new bath tub will be needed.

Once word gets out in Detroit that a home is vacant--the scavengers arrive.


This Dwyer Street dwelling is reverting to nature--and it has an ailanthus tree out front too.

2 comments:

C2 said...

I assume you are not aware you were in the Grixdale neighborhood and not Grixdale Farms? Based on the tone and skew of the few articles I've read on your blog I'm also assuming it doesn't really matter.

As hard as it is to hold on and try and rebuild from this city's devastation... on top of it there are perversion perpetuators like you. Glad you got your porn shots.

However it is some comfort to know that for the rest of Internet Eternity this will prove (to those who care) you most likely don't know what your talking about on any given subject. Everything you publish will be seen as being suspect in accuracy and of a questionable slant.

Good Job.

John Ruberry said...

Kindly point out the difference--boundaries and the like, between Grixdale and Grixdale Farms for me. Oh, unlike Chicago, which is divided into 77 clearly demarcated neighborhoods, Detroit is not.

I've been hearing Detroit is on the rebound since the 1980s. Wrong. Outside of Midtown, New Center, Downtown, and Corktown, it's getting worse. People are leaving, not moving in. Houses are collapsing, not being built there. Is Dan Gilbert (Quicken Loans) building office space in Grixdale? Grixdale Farms? Delray? No.

Let's say you have a malignant tumor. Calling it something else or ignoring it won't make it go away. Sorry, the truth hurts.

In Chicago something similar is happening right. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is touting the return of the NFL Draft to Chicago next week and the possible construction of the George Lucas Museum on the lakefront while much of the rest of the city rots. Detroit Mayor Coleman Young had his People Mover in the 1980s and Roman Gribbs and Henry Ford II pushed the RenCen in the 1970s. Neither slowed the decline and fall.