"I’m always shocked when critics of the mid-20th Century architectural style known as Michigan Modern decry that period as a silly time of tail fins on cars, uncomfortable furniture, and shiny, kitschy buildings. Shocked, because I think Michigan Modern, properly understood, remains our greatest architectural expression." [more inside]
Detroit in the '40s, thriving industry (note: some photos of racial conflict)
One-Fifth of Detroit's Population Could Lose Their Homes — Many families could stay put for just a few hundred dollars, if only they knew how to work the system. (SLAtlantic)
The Free Press investigates the causes of the Detroit bankruptcy. From 13th checks to Kwame's gamble, the story of Detroit's bankruptcy is surprising and often counter-intuitive.
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story. While not as famous as Bill Graham's Fillmore Theaters, from 1966 to 1970, Detroit's Grande Ballroom hosted national acts such as Cream, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, and Pink Floyd. The brainchild of Russ Gibb, with help from activist John Sinclair, the Grande provided a stage for local bands like The MC5, SRC, The Rationals, The Amboy Dukes, The Frost and the The Stooges. The Grande had it's own psychedelic poster artists Gary Grimshaw and Carl Lundgren. Leni Sinclair took pictures. Local boys from the Grande that went on to national prominence included The Bob Seger System, Alice Cooper, and Grand Funk Railroad. [more inside]
Emotions ran high (video) as city and state leaders met to work out a deal to address Detroit's looming budget crisis. The threat of state imposition of an emergency financial manager has some residents fearful of the ulterior motives of state officials: [more inside]
Midwest label Suburban Sprawl puts out a CD of X-Mas music every winter. They've collected the last eight years of them here. Highlights include The High Strung, The Hard Lessons, and the common lament, "Santa Just Crashed Into My House and He's Drunk as Fuck."
Tonight ends the 15th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, where tens of thousands of classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods, and more cruise Woodward Avenue in Southeast Michigan. [more inside]
Detroit is one of the most visually interesting cities in the world, however it is also one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented. Detroit Book of Love is a group of photographs illustrating what contemporary Detroit artists have been doing in regards to developing an understanding and appreciation for this complex and diverse city; from street portraits of the survivors, to the landscapes of wild new growth, to the industrial leftovers. As a group they show Detroit as it is, not what it should be or what it once was. [more inside]
Michigan National Guard Gets a Hummer Apparently, even the Michigan National Guard can't protect their vehicles from thieves in Detroit...
Transit in Detroit details an urban planner's initiative to cut the costs of the city's traffic congestion-relieving highway expansion by proposing a transit system combining light rail and bus-rapid-transit. [More Inside]
While reading up on the Detroit City Council's latest brainstorm, African Town, I stumbled upon this blog that highlights many of the once great, now decaying buildings of my former hometown. If you've ever wondered what was inside some of those ancient, boarded up buildings, there are some great photos here.
The fabulous ruins of Detroit: "After decades of blight, large swathes of Detroit are being reclaimed by nature. Roughly a third of this 139-square-mile city consists of weed-choked lots and dilapidated buildings . . . rather than fight this return to nature, urban farmers have embraced it, gradually converting 15 acres of idle land into more than 40 community gardens and microfarms — some consuming entire blocks." [note: NY Times link]
The history of the salt mine under the city of Detroit. Mined until 1983.
A teacher in Detroit notes the strange disappearance of an Iraqi student. "Even we are starting to notice that a few of our Middle Eastern students and parents and neighbors are disappearing. Another teacher said that my story made her realize she hasn't seen a certain Palestinian student for three weeks." Mass exodus? Detention? Deportation? Where are these students going?