When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

13 December 2008

Wild dogs, feral cats and homeless people

Almost all the windows in the four- and five-story buildings — thousands of them — are broken. The bricks and masonry are crumbling, and two large enclosed bridges that soar over streets are falling apart. Part of one of the large passageways recently collapsed onto Bellevue Avenue, and still sits there, blocking the street.

Some floors have caved in because metal scrappers have cut out the I-beams. Vast rooms are filled with trash, from old shoes to unwanted pleasure boats.

Nature has reasserted itself: Trees grow on the roof and moss has spread inside. Chalky stalactites hang from ceilings, apparently the result of rain coursing through
the walls.

Water from broken pipes collects into small lakes, freezes during the Michigan winters, then breaks up in spring and runs out of the plant onto neighboring streets. The plant is home to wild dogs, feral cats, homeless people. Arson is a regular event.
-- Detroit Free Press columnist Bill McGraw takes readers on a virtual tour of the Packard factory, shuttered in 1956 and still standing empty in Detroit. "When the cars go away," New York Times op-ed, 13 December 2008.

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