Abandoned Detroit Schools

March 15, 2009 at 9:10 am | Posted in Interweb | Leave a comment
  • When you were a child, did school officials threaten to add incident reports to your permanent record, branding you a miscreant for life? How would you feel about learning that those records, along with textbooks, personal affects, and even the school itself would end up rotting away?

    In the last half-century, Detroit lost more than half its population. Those leaving the city were mostly white people who fled to the suburbs. As a result, the tax base was destroyed and the black population that remains has had to govern a 139-square-mile city with limited resources.

    With an aging infrastructure built for twice the existing population, the school district has to shut down and vacate school buildings every year. In 2007, the school board awarded a contract for securing, cleaning and removing supplies from closed schools to a Philadelphia-based company with ties to school board members. However, the work at many closed schools was simply never done.

    I must admit, I have a kind of ghoulish fascination with abandoned places, and I found James Griffioen’s photo article to be hauntingly beautiful.

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