Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Could Detroit become another...Angkor Wat? Previous Next
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Al_t_publican
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Username: Al_t_publican

Post Number: 81
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 66.146.173.34
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 5:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I recently toured the ruins of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia. Maybe it was the heat of spending the several months in SE Asia that got to me but at one moment while climbing up and down through Angkor Wat I found myself thinking about my birthplace Detroit. Could Detroit as a urban ruin ever be promoted as a tourist attraction as Angkor Wat is? I wondered.

Call it silly, call it cynical of me to think so, but people paying to see a place that imploded like Angkor Wat made me think of Detroit. About five years ago as I was riding my mountain bike over the Bagley St. bridge that crosses the rail lines that come out of the Detroit River Tunnel I came upon a French camera crew. When I asked what they were up to they said they were doing a story on the Detroit techno music scene and getting some shots of the city. Cool, I thought. Bring in some tourist money.

Angkor Wat post Khmer Rouge experience seems to be doing quite well. Siem Reap has a steady flow of tourists and expat business types who have taken a chance at making it there as does Phnom Penh to a larger degree. It all left me thinking that if Cambodia can bounce back why not Detroit?
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3626
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 6:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No
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Quinn
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Username: Quinn

Post Number: 708
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 64.139.64.80
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 12:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No #2
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Antonyj11
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Username: Antonyj11

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 167.219.0.140
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 12:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wouldn't say that Angkor Wat has "bounced back".
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 340
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 198.103.184.76
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 12:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Who would pay $5 for a (legal) guided tour of the Michigan Central Depot?

I would.

With the Canadian dollar so strong, I might even pay $10. :-)
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Naturalsister
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Username: Naturalsister

Post Number: 608
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 69.212.52.216
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 2:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No #s

3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,1 5,16,17,18,19...

INFINITY!!

later - naturalsister
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 4075
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.229
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 6:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HAH Detroit could be the next Rome. We looking at some ruins when we go out in the ghetto right now.
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Atl_runner
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Username: Atl_runner

Post Number: 1907
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 24.98.116.13
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 11:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As things go, it's destined to become just that. Who knows what the next 100 years will bring. One thing is for sure though. Detroit's struggles are monumental and I see nothing on the horizon that will stem the losses any time soon. Still love the place, just have no, ZERO confidence in the leadership there. By there I mean the entire State of Michigan.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3633
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe, this isn't the forum for you, then. I could make a very similar argument why I believe that sprawled and transient Atlanta will have a shorter shelf-life than Detroit has had. If anything, we should start worrying about Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta...all of which have very little sence of places within their boundaries, where their development is much more temporary and less sustainable, and all cities that have boomed when location means very little for these city's economies.

(Message edited by lmichigan on May 03, 2006)
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Thecarl
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Username: Thecarl

Post Number: 749
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 69.14.30.175
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

for years, i've been reading in visitor guides that part of the thrill of visiting detroit is its post-apocalyptic feel. it's true, it exists. the ruins and abandon are fascinating and awe-inspiring. i really need to take myself back in time to remember just how incredible the destruction and neglect appeared when i was first exposed to it. i remember having the sense of playing russian roulette while driving down so many streets.

now, it all seems "normal."
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3645
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 3:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know what visitors guides you've been reading, because the local convention bureau tries to play this down as much as possible, to a fault.

Maybe it's because my parents had to live in these "ruins" and I was born into them, but I see nothing intriguing about decline and neglect. I get really annoyed at people that can only view the city as some social case study with "subjects" to observe. It's a city that still has 900,000 living, breathing people, a majority of which lead relatively normal lives in what has become of our urban cities. This dehumanization of Detroit needs to stop.
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Thecarl
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Username: Thecarl

Post Number: 751
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 69.14.30.175
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 3:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

It's a city that still has 900,000 living, breathing people




...with half of the residents saying if they could afford to leave detroit, they would.

the visitor guides to which i'm referring are those published by third parties. the local convention bureau should proclaim and exalt the development we've seen downtown, and in many neighborhoods, and i'm sure they do. however, i've yet to visit a city in these united states with more battered, charred, and barren estates. sure, every city has areas in decline, but the proportion in detroit exceeds anything i've seen.

these areas are certainly not the "only view" of the city, but where they exist, they are astounding.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3651
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 8:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Different tastes, I guess. I find nothing "cool" about urban decay, and I especially don't get a hard on over the stuff like many outsiders seem to get. It's a morbid fascination that I'm not going to join you in. When you have to live in it, there is nothing cool about it. Have fun with your excitement of death and destruction.

Detroit is not an Angkor Wat, and has decades or centuries to go if it ever wanted to be anything close to one. An Angkor Wat would be like abandoning, in full, a New York City or London and leaving it to rot for centuries; not a Detroit.

(Message edited by lmichigan on May 05, 2006)
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2057
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.3.235
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 8:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If anything, Detroit is more like Rome. After the fall of the empire in the 5th century AD, the city went from having a million inhabitants down to about 25,000. It fluctuated for centuries, but even by the time of the Renaissance Popes, it still had only about 25,000 people among all the ruins.

It was the Renaissance Popes who used all the Roman ruins as building materials for the Vatican and other building projects. Much of the fabric of St. Peter's is made of the marble remains of the Roman Forum and Flavian Amphitheatre (Roman Colluseum).
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Alexei289
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Username: Alexei289

Post Number: 1122
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.61.183.223
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 12:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

... Rome had more going for it as a capitol of the largest empire the world has ever seen... with the most technological expertise... which we are currently surpassed by china in many ways. Detroit never has even been able to compete with our neighbor chicago, who is still only the 3rd largest city.

the city of rome itself was a technological achievement... Detroit pioneered some technologies, but we built our systems out of materials that are completely utilitarian... and continue to rot and decompose... rome was made out of marble and granite.

Rome has alot ahead of Detroit.. If rome died, the european world would move and shake.... if Detroit died, china would just get richer and florida more populated.
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Deputy_mayor_2026
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Username: Deputy_mayor_2026

Post Number: 38
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 1:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit is much more like Pompeii than Rome, well just kidding. Although I have some intrigue in urban decay as it is such the antithesis of suburbia where I was raised, I would much rather have outsiders admire Detroit's greatness. I have faith in the eventual return of the "Paris of the Midwest." As Kwame noted in his state of the city address, in 1805 the entire town burned to the ground...
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1129
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 63.41.8.104
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 1:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Can I change my username to Alaric? I'm in the mood for some sacking.
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Deputy_mayor_2026
Member
Username: Deputy_mayor_2026

Post Number: 39
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 1:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Give me your best shot, if you are referring to me.
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Thecarl
Member
Username: Thecarl

Post Number: 753
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 69.14.30.175
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 2:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

from http://www.ste-anne.org/dempse y.html


quote:

In 1805, with Richard serving as pastor of the church, fire raged through Detroit, destroying most of the city and-once again- Ste. Anne. Reportedly, a man knocking tobacco out of his pipe started the blaze that consumed every building in the city except an old warehouse by the river and the brick chimneys of the wooden homes.

A priest assisting Richard wrote an eyewitness account of the fire. "I was interrupted by a person who came to inform me that three houses had already burned, and that there was little hope of saving the others. I exhorted all those present to help one another and I went to say Mass with only one server. It was a Low Mass and when it was over, we had hardly time to save the church furniture, the vestments, the household effects and provisions in the presbytery that adjoined the church.

"In three hours (from nine o'clock to noon) the town was burned to the ground and nothing could be seen but live embers, and chimneys which seemed to rise like pyramids. At the time of the fire, there was no wind, the flames and smoke rose to prodigious height, and the entire town looked like a huge bonfire. It was the most wonderful, and at the same time the most horrible sight I have ever witnessed."

A new church was, again, planned. But a third of the city's six hundred residents fled for good after the fire




some big differences to keep in mind about the detroit of today, and of 1805:

there were six hundred residents then. it's easier to rebuild the scorched remains serving six hundred people, than for one-point-one million people. i use that figure in reference to rehabilitating that which was used by a populace now removed from detroit.

in 1805, two-thirds of the people opted to stay when they had nothing. since 1950, more than half the people have opted to leave, when they had everything.

of course, the above points comprise an entirely materialistic assessment, but they describe optimism and pessimism about the future of the city at two distinct points in time. we see that more than infrastructure needs to be restored; civility needs to be restored.

the fire of 1805 was, presumably, an accident. the fires in recent times? not so much.

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