The beauty of decay

United Artists Theather (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

United Artists Theather (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Most people think ruins are ugly, but somehow I have always been intrigued and attracted to the beauty of decay. As a child I always looked up the empty places, the old abandoned school across the street, a little cabin in the woods next to our house etc. More recently I went to Doel, a little almost abandoned village next to Antwerpen. Yesterday I came across some awesome pictures showing ruins in Detroit. The photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre explain how they see their photograph series:

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry. Until the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people.
Detroit was the 4th most important city in the United States. It was the dazzling symbol of the American Dream City with its monumental skyscrapers and fancy neighborhoods.
Increasing segregation and deindustrialization caused violent riots in 1967. The white middle-class exodus from the city accelerated and the suburbs grew.Firms and factories began to close or move to lower-wage states. Slowly, but inexorably downtown high-rise buildings emptied. Since the 50’s, “Motor City” lost more than half of its population. Nowadays, its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great civilization.

Bank Vault (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Bank Vault (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Fort Wayne Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

These and more amazing pictures will be published in the book  The Ruins of Detroit, get your copy here.