Friday, December 01, 2017

(Photos) Abandoned homes of Grixdale in Detroit

On a beautiful Tuesday morning I returned to Grixdale, an East Side Detroit neighborhood that I visited in 2015. Here is part one and here is part two. Although this time I was on the western edge of this decrepit area. When I was there two summers ago I misidentified it as Grixdale Farms. Or did I? Detroit neighborhood boundaries, unlike the 77 official neighborhoods in Chicago, have no official demarcation lines. It's all open to interpretation.

The part I visited that morning was centered around John R--that street is named for me, right?--and Winchester.

The borders of Grixdale are roughly Conant Street to the east, Eight Mile Road to the north, Woodward to the east, and McNichols to the south.

Hello Detroit Police! Someone has stolen the front of my home! The home, by the way, is a Michigan bungalow, a popular style of home in Grixdale.

"Grixdale is a neighborhood" Detroit Urbex says, "on the north side of the city steadily losing population."

John R Street is not named for me, but rather John R. Williams, the first elected mayor of Detroit.

I'm doing my best Eminem here.

The door's open! C'mon in!

Grixdale does have a couple of things going for it. The Chrysler Freeway, Interstate 75, passes through it.

And there is a major retail presence, a rarity in Detroit, on the old State Fairgrounds at Woodward and Eight Mile. So unlike Brightmoor, which I documented here and here, it may not remain in a coma for a couple of generations.

There are burned-down homes all over Detroit.

In the summer of 2016, the Mike Duggan administration celebrated the 10,000th home demolition since he took office two years earlier. Victories are rare in Detroit--let them rejoice.

I believe that I read that in David Maraniss' Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story, that by the end of the 20th century Motor City leaders believed that 10 million people would be living in the Detroit area. Hence the aggressive building of freeways and the widening of Eight Mile Road to, appropriately enough, eight lanes. But the metropolitan area's population peaked at four-and-half million in 1970. But as I've remarked before, since Detroit is a skinny man wearing a fat man's pair of trousers, getting around in Detroit is a breeze, even taking account the sorry state of many of its streets.

So there is an upside of living in a shrinking metropolis.

Are you paying attention, Chicago?

Once in a great city.

Amazingly, the white porch railings survived without damage while nearly the rest of this cottage was burnt to a crisp.

On the right is an American Craftsman.

There's an open house showing this morning.

We almost have twin homes here.

Later that day I returned to Grixdale. The next few photographs were taken near Omira and Dakota adjacent to the border with Highland Park.

I was momentarily lost at this point--I wanted to get to Highland Park--fortunately a homeless person pointed me in the right direction--just find Woodward and drive south. I did.

Imagine having live next to that Motor City eyesore. Yes, someone resides in the house on the right.

Whenever I'm in Detroit I stay at 17420 Olmira.

In my two trips to Detroit I was disappointed that I didn't encounter any of its famed packs of feral dogs. But on Hollywood a half-block east of Woodward I discovered this lonely wild canine. I took grief for it as a man across the street screamed at me, "Don't be takin' no pictures." I did, of course. Detroit is a dangerous place. Ninety minutes later a co-owner of a retail outlet two blocks from here was fatally shot to death while hauling out the garbage by two masked gunmen.


directorblue said...

Dude, be careful. At a minimum, pack a tactical laser.

John Ruberry said...

I feel less at ease walking around the bad neighborhoods of Chicago than in Detroit. True, depopulation has something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

when the demographic gets above 50% dindu then your screwed. adios Detroit,philly,chicongo,apelanta,etc