Inside the Fisher Body Plant #21, Detroit. 'Ziggurat 2007–2008' installation, which consists of found wood brick tiles from the space, by artist Scott Hocking; photo Sean Hemmerle, March 2008
There’s faded grandeur. And then there’s Detroit. Once the fourth-largest city in the US, its spectacular economic and social decline is writ large in the disintegration of its architectural fabric. With its former manufacturing industries decimated and parts of downtown Detroit becoming a depopulated wasteland, leading American photographer Sean Hemmerle has created ‘Rust Belt’ a series of compelling images – at times poetic, at others unnerving – of the city’s former urban glory, both industrial and residential. His striking work serves as both architectural record and effective social commentary.
Main Lobby, Michigan Central Station, Detroit. Designed by firms Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stern, who also designed New York's Grand Central Station, and completed in 1913, the building was abandoned in 1988; photo Sean Hemmerle, March 2008
The last train pulled out of Michigan Central Station in 1988. Since then, the building has been unoccupied; photo Sean Hemmerle
Examples of Detroit's Victorian housing stock, now abandoned; photo Sean Hemmerle, September 2009
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