The Death And Decay Of Detroit, As Seen From The Streets

Tyler Durden's picture

With the stock market hitting record highs day after day, it is easy to move on and forget that one of American's once premier cities, Detroit, has been bankrupt for nearly a year. But out of mind doesn't mean out of sight, especially now that Google has launched its street view Time Machine, which provides for 7 years worth of street images, showing the time shift of the tumultuous period period starting in 2007. One blogger who decided to take this time lapse data and apply it to the city of Detroit is GooBing Detroit who, as the following time-lapse photos demonstrate, has captured Detoit's unprecedented slow-motion collapse into death and decay in what is the closest we have to "real time."

Perhaps what is most stunning about the following series of photos is not the ultimate fate of the bankrupt city, but how quickly a once vibrant metropolis has succumbed to blight and sheer desperation.

Hopefully not coming to a street near you.

All photos from the Goobingdetroit tumblr depict various areas and streets in Detroit, then and now.




Montlieu between Gilbo and French, City Airport Neighborhood. Top to bottom Google streetview circa 2009, 2011 and 2013.





July 2013

September 2013

Chene between Palmer and Ferry. 15 of the 20 properties on this block have been, or are subject to, tax foreclosure. Looked like a nice bakery.




Healy Street north of Hamtramck




2013- July

2013 - August

Exeter between 7 Mile and Penrose, Northern Detroit.

Brightmoor neighborhood. 


Around 7 Mile, West Side


Northwest, near Grand River


West Golden Gate, Detroit


Southwest Detroit


East side, near Alter Road


Patton Street, NW Detroit 

Feel like you can kind of see how this scene unfolded:


In the top photo, the tree is blocking the view of that yellow house in the middle — that house isn’t in great shape, but it’s ok. The house to the left has neatly trimmed hedges and a chair on the porch. The house on the right has been gutted by fire.


I imagine that middle house - since it’s been demo’d by 2012 - caught on fire and caused the further damage to the house at the right. Whoever had been living in the nicely maintained house on the left, moved out, and that house was gutted.


In the last photo — with the nicely maintained house farthest to the right — you see another nice house on the left, with a boarded up, but fairly stable, house in the middle. By 2012, both nice houses are gutted, as is the boarded up one in the middle.


Springwells Village


Near City Airport. Wonder why they didn’t take down the one next door while they were at it…


From top to bottom: 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013. Hickory Street between Manning and Pinewood, northeast Detroit.


Of the 12,093 properties in this Detroit neighborhood, 1,037 are owned by the City of Detroit, mostly due to tax foreclosure. Another ~4,500 are either subject to tax foreclosure right now, or will be in the next year or two.


Eastwood between Queen and MacCray, Northwest Detroit. Just east of Osborn, in “Burbank”… if anyone actually calls it that.  Of the 34 properties on this block, 24 have been tax foreclosed, 13 are at risk of foreclosure, and precisely 1 property is in good tax standing.


Corner of Thaddeus and S. Leigh Street, Southwest Detroit. That’s a lotta washing machines…


Hazelridge between Celestine and MacCray, Northeast Detroit

This block is incredible. Still pretty dense with housing, but only one of them is occupied. If you go a block to the west, the housing stock changes to brick and the neighborhood looks pretty stable.


The New York Times visited this block during the Motor City Mapping survey:


"Blight, as Karl Baker, one Detroit resident, has seen, tends to spread. Along his block of Hazelridge Street on the East Side, he is the only remaining tenant. “Everyone went bye-bye,” Mr. Baker said the other day as he walked up the center of the silent street to get to his house since no sidewalks had been shoveled.


Most of the houses nearby are standing but abandoned, and visitors have clearly passed through — empty liquor bottles lie along debris-covered floors near broken windows and doors, every memory of a metal appliance or gutter seems to be gone from some of the homes, and two old couches that were dumped along a lawn are now blanketed by a thick layer of snow.


The last neighbor left six months ago, he said, and the single streetlight overhead has not worked for months. “I love the quiet, but if something went wrong, the city isn’t going to come,” Mr. Baker said. “They don’t do anything.”


Hoyt between Liberal and Pinewood, Northeast Detroit


Arndt between Elmwood and Ellery, East Side, Detroit

Lady waving to the street view car in the first image, c. 2009. Nearby the Heidelberg Project, and in the style, though not sure if a Tyree or not.


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COSMOS's picture

Its a cancer that is spreading throughout America

RevRex's picture

All the big Republican cities are the same, because "both parties are the same", right LiberTARDian voters?

sessinpo's picture

RevRex     All the big Republican cities are the same, because "both parties are the same", right LiberTARDian voters?


Detroit is Republican? Odd. Detroit has had a Democrat Mayor since 1962.

RevRex's picture

Sarcasm escapes you.


Notice how cowardly the LiberTARDian down arrowers are who keep repeating the Socialist Semite Democrat Media election year propaganda that "both parties are the same"



Not how none of the sniveling cowards can name one big city destroyed by Republicans.


What a bunch of sniveling worms and cowards.

Anusocracy's picture

The Repugnanturds are busy focusing on destroying countries.

They're pretty much done destroying any freedoms.

Anusocracy's picture

As an aside, anybody want to speculate on why they somewhat defend the 2nd Amendment?

TBT or not TBT's picture

The "Republic" part of "Republican", specifically the republic defined in our founding documents, designed to prevent the re-development of tyranny on the continent.

McMolotov's picture

"A republic, if you can keep it." —Ben Franklin

Epic fail in keeping it.

nope-1004's picture

There is obviously no oil in Detroit.  "Humanitarian Aid", I think the govvy has called it, only goes to resource rich nations that the bankers can get their claws into.  Detroit has nothing and will be left to rot.



SilverIsKing's picture

Well that does it. There's no way I'm going to use Bing as my wedding photographer. I'm going with Google.

Manthong's picture

They ought to be dropping all of the surplus Mexicans off there.

If they are worth keeping in the country they will do something with all of the $1.00 houses.

It will also be a good market for all the warehoused copper as the houses that are left are all stripped of plumbing and electric.

Either that or it might end up being new China.

Cathartes Aura's picture

the currently named "Chinese" are indeed being encouraged to "fire sale" up Detroit, and there has been talk of bringing whole "Chinese" businesses to the area, "revitalising" the hub. . .

anyone truly paying attention will understand that "nation-all" name tags work swell when raising up the live-stock - but aren't really needed when it's time to cull.


knukles's picture

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Abi Normal's picture

Not even the fire hydrant survived in the Thaddeus Road series, new meaning to 'back to nature', eh?

Fuctard liberals and unions did this crap, I do blame them for Detroit 100%...ignorant fools they are.  Also NAFTA, CAFTA, etc...they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Anusocracy's picture

That was taken by the gleaners.

The first group of hunter-gatherers took the aluminum siding.

Shocker's picture

More cities may be on the same path, if the Economic Job Picture doesn't change

Layoff / Closing List:


TeamDepends's picture

Look at Agenda 21 go!  Lean Forward/Bend Over citizen!

mjcOH1's picture

"Its a cancer that is spreading throughout America"


See - hope and change.   Change is good, right?   And you can always hope the crack heads squatting next door don't burn your house too.

J S Bach's picture

The main cause for this decay can be summed up in one word -- "demographics".

knukles's picture




Early Detroit:  We have such a quiet neighborhood
Middle Detroit:  Hope them fucking rioters stay in their own shithole, let it burn
Modern Detroit:  They have such quiet neighborhoods

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Is obvious, no!? House is better on Google, not Bing. Microsoft is suck!

Richard Chesler's picture

To be certain, hope and change look much better in Obion propaganda.


Manthong's picture

I just take comfort in thinking that it is likely the Fed that holds the paper on all of those Bing houses.

gh0atrider's picture

fonestar and gh0atrider be all up in yo hood and shite, slangin' bitcoins and makin' moves on you goldbug turf.



new game's picture

maybe too many cities like jc penny stores..

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Everyone blames this... and that... race, politics, economics, blah, blah, blah... but Detroit can be summed up in just two words: "American Decline"

HulkHogan's picture

This is my first time checking in to ZH for awhile. These pictures made me cry (seriously). This is happening everywhere. A previous comment said that this decay only happens in Blue States and Blue Cities. Wrong! I live in a very red state. Blue and Red cities alike are going through this. We are sitting right in the middle of a big decline and nobody knows how to fix it, besides fixing the numbers, which .gov is taking care of. 

Lore's picture

Hulk - Good post. ZHers are too intelligent to keep resurrecting the simplistic, ignorant and misleading "Left versus right" paradigm. This boils down to MISALLOCATION AND DESTRUCTION OF CAPITAL by CONTROL FREAKS (PSYCHOPATHS, LITERALLY) IN BANKING AND BIG GOVERNMENT.

Bloody Muppet's picture

It's part and parcel of bureaucratic rulers who execute their authority to use regulation and political practice. They command and dominate all direction so that the existing, existential regime keeps its executive supremacy and influences jurisdiction whilst Washington pretends to show restraint, but actually uses the rule of law and statecraft to sway regimentation.

Lore's picture

And colourless green ideas continue to sleep furiously.

SAT 800's picture

Looks exactly like 98th. AVenue in Oakland, Calif. where I lived when in High School. The whole descent into ruined trash went along in perfect synchronism with the wave of "African Americans" moving in; probably just a co-incidence. Makes me kind of homesick. Lot's of empty lots to play stickball in; if you didn't get shot walking down to the corner.

algol_dog's picture

Ha! I knew that area too, and yes it looks every bit like that. Every major city has its f'd up areas though.

The end for Detroit came after MC-5 broke up. It was the beginning of the end -

gh0atrider's picture

The end for Detroit came after MC-5 broke up. It was the beginning of the end -

You gotta kick out the jams.

dontgoforit's picture

40,000 years of funk.  If your DNA says you don't need a house to live in, you don't need a house to live in.

NuckingFuts's picture

Detroit Rock City!


Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

Nice Kiss reference.

Actually, this actually quite upsets me. and i dont give a shit about Detroit

ImReady's picture

re-hypothecation at its finest! 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"We buy when there's blood in the streets.  And we can help with that too." - Rothschilds

"We buy when there's unemployment and trash in the streets.  And we can help with that too." - China

p.s. A good friend of mine is currently selling his properties to the Chinese.  The city is in a good strategic location (stuff coming from and going to Canada).  Plus GM's
"woes" are ripe for a Chinese takeover also.  GM went from having huge market share in China, to being vulnerable for a buyout.  Ah, how fleeting "fortune" is, when the conquerors are themselves conquered, and their city bought for pennies on the fiat dollar.

Lore's picture

I don't think the Chinese want GM. Travel around Asia and you see plenty of other brands. My guess is that GM will suck the government teat until there's nothing left to suck, and then just sort of disintegrate.  Prime dealer lots will then get cherrypicked by other manufacturers.  You will not see Chinese taking most American cast-offs. They're too proud for that.

neidermeyer's picture

The Chinese LOVE Buick and Hummer ... they'll buy GM as an entry to the USA markets...

Lore's picture

It must be different in your area. In Vancouver, young Chinese lean toward Lexus, Mercedes, BMW and Acura.  Hummer symbolizes American decadence.  Whoever you saw in a Hummer probably was NOT Chinese. 

Working class China is the fastest growing market for most major brands, including GM, which opened another plant recently in the south.

Lord Koos's picture

There were never any good intentions, just lots of kool-aid.

Redhotfill's picture

Actually the photos look to me like lots of ARSON to collect INSURANCE $$$!?

Spitzer's picture

I recall reading articles in 2008 about Canadians buying up houses there in Detroit. Figured the bottom was in. LOL

Miles Ahead's picture

Some clown above said

"Note how none of the sniveling cowards can name one big city destroyed by Republicans.".

1).  Washington, DC

2).  Baghdad

The list is endless...  especially when you consider that most Republican "Cities" are actually Trailer Parks...

Abi Normal's picture

Miles Away...


LOL, both parties ruined those cities...what an ignorant post, but you keep drinking that kool aid friend.

Miles Ahead's picture

Well, then that goes to the original claim that both parties are the same.  And #2, if Repubs are equally culpable, then my answer is correct - Repubs destroyed them (too).

BTW, I don't talk about the D--- because I can't even stand to type that word.  At least I can type Repubs.  They're assholes true, but I at least hand it to them for not being afraid to SHOW IT!   The D---- well, they pretend they're the good guys.

So... what fuckin' Kool-Aid do I drink now?  I don't even live in the US so I am "Miles Away" (kilometers actually, but I figured that would throw you) and there's no Kool Aid here or all our women would look like your WalMart chicks...

Thanks.  It was a great post, once again.

new game's picture

america is a cultureless melted pot of the best that descended into the worst via the rabbit theory without enuf predators...

free checks with no balances:)