Figure ground disintigration during the 20th century

Here at we love to go on holiday. Where to? Well it looks like rusty old Motown is our kind of place...

"Detroit is the most relevant city in the United States for the simple reason that it is the most unequivocally modern and therefore distinctive of our national culture: in other words, a total sucess. Nowhere else has American modernity so completely had its way with people and place alike."

Jerry Herron, Director of American Studies, Wayne State University

what you should know about Detroit...

  • From 1900 to 1950 the population of Detroit grew from under 285,700 to over 1.8 million
  • From 1950 to 2000 the population of Detroit decreased from over 1.8 million to 951,270
  • No building construction permits were issued in Detroit in 1988, then the 7th largest city in the US
  • Between 1978 and 1998 only 9000 building permits were issued for new homes in Detroit, while over 108,000 demolition permits were issued
  • In 1998, Detroit was the 11th largest city in the US
  • !n 1998, 79% of the population in Detroit was African American
  • 1n 1998, 78% of the population in the surrounding suburbs was White
  • In 1998, the average income in the city was 47% of that in the surrounding suburbs
  • In the 1990s, the city lost 1% of its housing stock each year to arson
  • In 1990, the city spent $25 million on the removal of abandoned houses and other structures
  • Between 1990 and 1992, the city spent $250 million on the removal of toxic waste on property the city was donating to Chrysler Corporation for the construction of a new Jeep Factory
Image above left shows an aerial view of the freeway through the downtown area. Note tha large areas of open space. Click the house logo above right to see early pictures of our Detroit trip.

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