Michigan Central Station Detroit

Packard Motors from the East

     In the summer of 1971, I returned to Detroit after two and a half years in Africa, the Middle East and Europe where I had visited numerous ancient ruins.

     Detroit was restive, as the social revolutions of the late 60's played out their effects, and in transformation as its population began vacating the city to the surrounding suburbs.

     Still, Detroit seemed little changed from its model developed in the teens of the 20th Century when it became the preeminent industrial city in the world with its accompanying wealth and large home owning middle class.

     Unseen to the eye, during that hazy summer, immense economic, social and political forces, that had been set in motion years prior, were to render large sections of the city and its industrial structures into ruination. Could one be instantly transported from that time forward twenty year it would appear as if large areas of the city had been carpet bombed leaving behind huge hulking ruins -- ruins larger and more extensive than those I found in my travels to Zimbabwe, El Tajin, Ephesus,  Athens, or Rome.

     Put aside their negative image, so sensationalized by a self flagellating media, and view them, for a moment, as you might one of the celebrated ruins of the world. Then you may come to understand why I call them The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit.


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