not all those who wander are lost

Louis Kampers Water building. Much more graceful than the Munsters-esque Book Tower. (The Book is still my fav)

Masonic Temple.

The Mighty Michigan Central Station in all its see-through glory.

Globe Tobacco Company building. Architect Alexander Chapoton, built in 1888. This was renovated into office space by chopping out a light court in the center. This building is pre-Albert Kahn so it is completely without re-enforced concrete. Inside its brick skin is pure wood lumber construction. That is why so few of these buildings tend to survive, if they catch fire they tend to collapse from within.

The tobacco industry in Detroit pre-dates the Detroit industrial era, and this particular business was founded by such important early businessmen as Hiram Walker. Many of Michigans once powerful unions started here in Detroit within these tobacco companies. Men AND women laid down blood and bone to establish collective bargaining rights and worker safety laws right here. It brings me to tears to think what our ancestors would think of todays work environment. With all our unions busted, and with anti-union governors like Judas Granholm, you would never guess Detroit was one of the original battle grounds where the mighty American unions were born. (We still have unions in Michigan, but it is ILLEGAL for many of them to organize, collectively bargain or strike. Those aspect are how I personally define a union.)

Hey – is Walmart open yet ? I need some chinese tennis shoes.

What looks like the sulpherous fires of hell is Zug Island. Its where they make the Zug…


The REID building. A cute little piece of crap left over from Olde Detroit. Locals call it our “Flatiron” building. They’ve obviously never seen the actual Flatiron in Manhattan. THAT is a badass building, and the first official “skyscraper” on earth.

The back of one of the National Theater towers, an Albert Kahn masterpiece rotting away in the shadow of crap-construction Compuware. No way to make it lofts ? Bulldoze it.

The awesome Ambassador Bridge – the most traveled free border on earth. Owned by a private slumlord, threatened by internal Detroit polital chaos. Somehow the City Counsel believes that Detroit doesnt need its Homeland Security office. No – really, that isnt my usual sarcasm. They also dont think they need firefighters and EMS workers. Yeah, in DETROIT !

The new Campus Martius food court. Poor planning, poor design, poor construction….This space gets a resounding ” D -” grade from dETROITfUNK. And THATS a mercy grade. You’ll see what I mean in 5 years when it falls apart.

Roosevelt Park in Corktown. Your standard “bumpark”.

This frieze details how Cadillac conquered Pontiac and the Chippewa Nation by bringing the non-indigenous pigeon to the Americas. The foul fowl shat upon everybody resulting in disease which wiped out millions.

Okay – now THATS sarcasm…Hahahah !

“MONEY, its a hit. Dont give me that do goody good bullshit..”

Check out this startling contrast between modernism in architecture, and the anti-modernist Beau Arts architecture. I think I’ll take the BeauArts thanks….

Hey kids – can you say “double junk bond rating” ? General Motors is about to unleash destabilizing chaos upon american society by being the first giant corporation to default on its obligation to retired workers. This will start an avalanche of copycats in all other industries which will lead us to complete monetary collapse and widespead civil unrest. I’ll see you out in the streets.

Hey, by the way – did the Pistons win last night ??

9 Responses to Up and Away

  • Hi,
    Grew up in Detroit, moved out in ’90 first to NYC then London, UK. Only visit the city occassionally, family and friends keep me marginally updated about local goings on and they are mostly cynical. Came back for a visit in July with english boyfriend. He is well travelled in third world countries and was shocked and appalled by the devestation, waste and neglect in the city. Having seen the decline of Detroit through my formative years, I am senstive but mostly blind to the mess that is Detroit. Being here with a non native I repeatedly explained why the city has fallen on hard times. Each of these explainations began to sound more and more ridiculous as I said them. Like how is it possible for a city with the most earth changing technology to go from wealthy to a slum in less than my life time. Like Dudes! Who moved your cheese!
    By the way great photos.

  • Greeting Sven, and Welcome !

    Im going to refer you to a Detroit forum that I think will help you tremendously as a new Detroiter – check out:|

    As with any forum, there are plenty of idiots on there, but you will find a wealth of info about Detroit there.

  • Those are some rad photos, man! Being a newbie to Detroit, I have been really struck by the awesome archtecture that you guys have here.

    Also, I for one really enjoyed your witty sarcasm – which is a pretty upbeat thing, actually. A bit of a contrast to one of the other things that have struck me about Detroit(ers) since coming here.

  • What a great site; what superb photos! Thanks so much….
    Yeah, I abandoned Detroit, but part of me is still there. Even in the tough times. Ray in Las Vegas, NV

  • Not just “workers” Jessie. “Human beings” and their lives are what is being destroyed. Its easy to overlook that in our society. Its all about the dollar bill and power.

    Not rage Aram – cold calm observation – with a sober point of view. We will get our first wave of what I am speaking of when the King of Saudi Arabia dies.

    Ever see that boring documentary about Poletown where GM forced all the citizens out to build a parking lot ? Thats a good place to start.

  • Wow, I’m not sensing an underlying rage at all…
    Well done as usual.

  • Great shots. I like the building reflected in the windows. That Masonic Temple is huuuge..
    Re the General Motors thing – that sucks. Apparently workers aren’t worth it any more, it would seem.

  • Thats right, the best damn Zug on this Earth is made right here on Zug island.

  • Love your Site keep up the great photos, Yes the Pistons won last night