copper

Architect Wirt C. Rowland designed this structure which was built in 1940.

This is an historic branch of the Detroit Public Library, named for Mark Twain who had local roots here in Detroit. ( His daughter Clara Clemens was married to the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. )

Now the Mark Twain Branch lies abandoned, or more correctly, “decommissioned”. Very recently, it has begun the slow death march towards complete dilapidation. With the price spike in scrap metals, buildings like Mark Twain have a snowballs chance in hell of survival.

Scrappers have descended on this gorgeous building, and its about half way through the process of having its exterior stripped.

They even tried scrapping the “Mark Twain” name itself !

The copper lettering above the main entryway is long gone.

Heres a gaping hole in the main roof peak.

About half of all the copper flashing and trim is gone from the whole perimeter of the building.

So its just a matter of how many more days before this one is stripped clean. Not sure if the scrappers are getting inside, but thats a matter of time too. Then they will gut the electrical and plumbing.

And thats how a building dies in Detroit.