Loving Dereliction

Taking the time to appreciate abandoned buildings and cityscapes can help us appreciate what we have now.

"...what I am talking about are the true urban deserts, the uninhabited places. The feeling that there are teeming millions around you, not far away - but not here, not in this place. I should like to know more about the rustbelt zones along the railtrack between Philadelphia and New Jersey. I always like the look of the emptier, post-industrial bits of Queen's. I have heard of the old fishing creeks near Kennedy Airport. It is precisely that sharp contrast of activities, effectively encountering a time-shift, that appeals."

Full Story: Not building: the lure of desolation.




Those who appreciate urban dereliction should take the web tour of the Fabulous Ruins of Detroit, at http://www.detroityes.com/Default.htm. Lowell Boileau has for years maintained a comprehensive catalog of the vanishing architecture of this place, with its history of early 2oth century industrialism and mass production.
I visited there in July of 2005, and spent awhile looking at the incredible Michigan Central Railroad Station, visible from Windsor, Ont. There are many buildings left, but even more vacant lots- in July, those are full of wildflowers, with trails worn through by the people. James Pugsley, AICP

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Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
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