Detroiturbex is a website that was created to raise awareness about the city of Detroit and to explore and photograph abandoned buildings throughout the city. The site–a word mash of Detroit and Urbex, meaning urban exploration–features countless photographs ranging from the days of the old, thriving metropolis to a more modern-day, rundown city.
Across the course of 100 years, the city population expanded and declined rapidly, starting at 300,000 in 1910, growing by mid-century to 1.8 million, and then quickly falling to 700,000 by 2010. The website states, “While other American cities have experienced similar declines in population and industry, few have seen it on such a vast scale as Detroit has,” and “The consequences to the people, culture, and society of the city are unprecedented.”
The city is currently designed for 2 million people, but only populates about one third of that number. The results are abandoned buildings, closed churches and schools, and hundreds of empty and neglected houses. This project is a then-and-now series about Cass Tech High School, built in the early 1900’s and eventually demolished in 2011. The images feature the life that filled the school across the years in harsh, visual comparison to the abandoned and rundown building before it was torn down.