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Explorations On April 20, 2012

Lee Plaza

Lee Plaza is one of those iconic abandonments of Detroit, Michigan that stands out as a prime example of what went wrong with the city in the latter half of the 20th century, and is a pillar of potential along West Grand Boulevard. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lee Plaza is an excellent representation of Art Deco from the 1920s and was at one point, a luxurious apartment complex that offered hotel amenities to its wealthy residents.

On a bitterly cold day several years ago, I trekked down West Grand to pay a visit to Lee Plaza, and to capture at least some of the beauty that remained.

Explorations On March 7, 2012

Eastern Catholic High School

Driving down Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, Michigan late night in the summer of 2011, I came across the former Eastern Catholic High School. The obviousness of its abandonment, with its blown out windows and the hulking structure contrasting to the vast, empty lots surrounding it, made the four-level school all the more interesting to enter and photograph.

Explorations On February 23, 2012

The Packard

The Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit, Michigan has long been on my list of abandonments to visit. Known for its extensive deterioration, brought about by decades of underutilization and neglect, and by scrappers, the Packard encompasses 3.5 million square feet that fills vistas from all directions.

But how does one simply cover the Packard?

Explorations On February 13, 2012

A Trip to Cairo, Illinois

Spurred on by an impromptu excursion to photograph the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge that partially collapsed on January 26 in western Kentucky, I decided to visit a part of the state that I had not yet fully explored. From Owensboro to Paducah, from the isolated Land Between the Lakes to dense streetscapes, I toured the back roads in hopes of finding something new to write about and to photograph.

Why not visit the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers? It was only an hour drive from Paducah. After crossing into Illinois from Kentucky, I came to Cairo.

News On February 7, 2012

Biggest Population Losses

After a recent drive through Cairo, Illinois (article forthcoming), and seeing the effects of decades of racial segregation and violence, and then economic decline and population loss, I wondered what other major and minor cities in the United States has experienced such steep and dramatic losses? Besides Cairo, Detroit and Wheeling, I asked my Facebook readers of other examples.

Explorations On January 27, 2012

The Role of a Railroad YMCA

Railroad YMCA’s were once staples in the United States, offering lounges, recreational amenities, restaurants  and a safe and convenient place for rest for the myriad of railroad employees. Russell, Kentucky is one such instance of a town that offered a YMCA.