February 11th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

The whote problem is Detroit boils down to, all other factors aside, that City Council has to be one of the most corrupt in the nation.  Kilpatrick is in jail, Coyners got jumped by the FBI and word is the FBI still has at least 3 active investigations targetting Council members. 

Sadly it doesn't matter if the people are ready, if the companies want to expand, the corruption on the Council will kill it. 


February 11th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

This is a really outmoded and simplistic view of the situation. Corruption is a factor, but not the only factor. 

Decades of racist transportation, housing, and development policies shattered Detroit. The current City Council is new and young... give them a chance. 


February 11th, 2011 at 10:39 AM ^

I was being sarcastic about the commercial, but not the renaissance.  At the very least, I think rock bottom is behind us.  The big three are paying dividends and giving raises, buildings are being renovated, the school systems seem to be making positive progress, the presence of the entertainment industry is growing, property value decline has tapered off, and Kwame is in jail.

Also:  The Lions look like a playoff team for next year (if there is a next year) and the Tigers should win the central.


February 11th, 2011 at 11:08 AM ^

but more of a possible scenario. 

As someone who worked high up in DPS, I think Bobb has done a good job thus far.

DPS had been plagued for a very long time with, well, lots of issues. The bowl is the lack of students and funds, they are trying to mitigate the swirl as much as possible. You kinda have to close half the schools when you lose half the students in the next 5 years. This allows the district to renovate and focus on the core of what is left. 


February 11th, 2011 at 2:49 PM ^

They are still in terrible shape, of course, but at least there is A PLAN.  The budget is getting balanced (by harsh but necessary means), schools are being consolidated, and federal stimulus funds are being invested the the district.  It will be better to have fewer schools with more students if it enables the district to provide a safe environment for teachers and students (and working clocks, plumbing, etc.).  If Bobb's plan can at least lead to financial stability for the district, economics will take care of some of the overcrowding issues in the long term.   

These aren't immediate solutions, but the steps being taken are aligned with the consolidation of the city itself, which is a positive sign because it demostrates communication among different departments in the city government.  This is in contrast to the prior administrations where nobody - the public and the administrators - knew what was going on.  Also, current developments are happening under the watch of federal and state governments and the general public, which will stem some of the corruption that led to the current state of affairs.


February 11th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

have been renovated or are in the process:

David Whitney

Broderick Tower (the one with the whale on the side as seen from Comerica)

The Fort Shelby Hotel has been open for a few years

Old Cass Tech is in the early stages of demolition


February 11th, 2011 at 9:16 AM ^

That's what happens when you build a city suitable for 2 million people and then 60% of them decide overnight they'd rather live way out at 121 mile.

BTW, I saw this quote posted on another board...

"It will never be my grandfather's Detroit, and I hope it's never again my father's Detroit, but I see everyday that my son's Detroit will be even better than mine."


February 11th, 2011 at 9:15 AM ^

These photos will be great reminders for future generations of how far Detroit fell and how far they had to climb to get out of this hole.  The photos are simply amazing as they capture a moment in time that words could never fully describe.


February 11th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

could be such a beautiful building if renovated.

I've seen renovation estimates range from $80-300 million (at least according to Wikipedia).

It's such an icon for the city, but also an icon of the decay.  If renovated it could represent a turning point for Detroit.


February 11th, 2011 at 9:32 AM ^

I agree but sentiment aside, what would making a new train station do? That 80-300million should be spent another way, such as clearing up the brown sites and demolition of all empty buildings. Symbols like this is just like putting lipstick on a pig. We need people moving into the city, reduction of corruption at the city level, and a severe reduction in crime and a new symbol won't do it.


February 11th, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

on another, you can't ignore the power of a symbol of change.  Look at Comerica park, that area is more vibrant than ever.

If investors can renovate and lure in a large number of tenants, the area around the station will start to gentrify.  Corktown is already right around the corner, and this will help bring in new businesses to service the tenants in the building.

Maybe I'm way to sentimental about it, and there are a million other projects that need completing first...



February 11th, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

At the old State Fairgrounds on 8 Mile and Woodward.  Every time I drive past there, I don't see a whole lot going on and I thought it was opening this year or next.  It's still a heck of a hike for most city residents.

I guess if the starter (appetizer) is the shopping, I hope the main course is the school system.


February 11th, 2011 at 9:40 AM ^

Looks like scenes  from 28 days everyone just disappeared  ....especially the dentist office, I cant believe they just left behind all that equipment...that shit is real expensive

Flying Dutchman

February 11th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

Those who enjoy this topic would love   I have no stake in the creation of this site, so this is not a 'promotion' beyond the fact that I have enjoyed it as a viewer.   Fascinating content, put together well. I get down to Detroit on business every couple months and have really taken an interest in the buildings and the history of the ones that are no longer there.


February 11th, 2011 at 9:43 AM ^

As part of my photography blog, I've been going down to Detroit on a fairly regular basis for the past 2 years or so.  I think Detroit is on the cusp of a renaissance.  I am seeing alot more activity than I have in the past.  They are in the process of renovating the fountain on Belle Isle and they have been slowly cleaning up other parts of the Island.  Someone is moving into the Guardian Building and I think they are in the process of restoring a couple of the other buildings in the area around the Compuware Building.

As for the Michigan Central Building, as much as I would like to see it renovated...I don't think that is going to happen....I'd rather see it down.


February 11th, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

Its a very sad story and a very hard lesson for a region to learn.  Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is a shiny example of how to evolve.  The steel industry in America has arguably collapsed much more drastically than the auto industry but Pittsburgh planned ahead and found ways to lure technology jobs and new corporations to the area.  Detroit's planners failed to predict the inevitable downsizing of the auto industry and, as such, the city is in ruins.  Its very very sad.

Flying Dutchman

February 11th, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

I've enjoyed Pittsburgh, and its got some great buildings from its steel tycoon years, but the downtown has strange "hours".  It seems like the downtown completely clears out at night, and nothing remains open.   I supposed everything can't be a New York or Chicago though. 


February 11th, 2011 at 1:33 PM ^

That might happen, but the city is too damn compartmentalized.  I can't go out in downtown (not that I want to) or the Strip district unless I drive down there.  If the buses ran until 2 a.m. or Pittsburgh had even a modicum of a competent taxi service, the nightlife would be better distributed.  Instead, it's all stuck in the South Side and Oakland (with smatterings of Lawrenceville, Shadyside, and Sq Hill).

Clarence Beeks

February 11th, 2011 at 2:10 PM ^

Yeah, you're right, but I was specifically talking about the potential for nightlife in the new development area.  That should bring some back to at least that part of downtown, but how knows if it will spread very far beyond the immediate area.  I know that the goal is to have an arena district much like Columbus has, and I think that can be done, but there are just too many factors at play for any one thing to make things turn around for the entire downtown.

No doubt the bus and cab situation is definitely strange, though.  For a city with such a good bus network, it's amazing how early it shuts down.

Station Square and the Waterfront could stand to be on your list, but generally I agree with you on where the nightlife is.


Flying Dutchman

February 11th, 2011 at 3:43 PM ^

Since I was there on business for 3 separate but entire weeks, it left little to do in the evening besides finding nightlife.  There were very few bars open in the triangle, and we mostly hung out in the Fishmarket.   We did go over some of the many bridges to the south side and to that newer former industrial area with the Bar Louie (Station Square?).

PNC Park is an absolute gem.   I tell anybody who gives a damn about baseball to make a special trip there.

Clarence Beeks

February 11th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

"but Pittsburgh planned ahead and found ways to lure technology jobs and new corporations to the area"

That's not really accurate.  Much of what happened in Pittsburgh was reactionary.  The difference, at least compared to Detroit, is that they reacted much more quickly, and did so effectively.



February 11th, 2011 at 1:34 PM ^

The city is also able to segregate itself a lot easier than Detroit would be able to.  Many of the problem areas (The Hill, Wilkinsburg, Far East Liberty) are cut off from wealthy prominent areas by geography or train tracks.  I don't know Detroit like I know Pittsburgh, but I imagine the flatness and distribution of land could be an issue.