Detroit: Ruin and Rebirth

Atrium, Farwell Building

They say the seeds of the architectural revolution of Chicago were planted in the Great Chicago Fire. That disaster wiped the city slate clean, giving the opportunity for something amazing to take its place.

Detroit wasn’t destroyed in one night. It is disappearing bit by bit, house by house, building by building, in what could be called the Great Detroit Abandonment. As the slate is slowly erasing, like some forgotten Etch-a-Sketch left on its face in the attic, will something amazing take its place?

Loose Meat thumbnailThe Loose Meat Sandwich King of Hamtramck is a novel of Detroit’s ruin and rebirth. When buildings and rules collapse, an unexpected sense of freedom is created, the freedom to re-invent a city, the freedom to re-invent oneself. It is a story told with gentle humor, and with hope.

For more haunting photos of abandoned Detroit, check out the photography blog at