199th out of 384 books — 129 voters
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The deterioration of the American inner city stands in stark contrast to the prosperity characteristic of the United States for much of the twentieth century. Skyscrapers that once defined the modern era stand derelict and abandoned. Massive industrial manufactories lie rusting, their cavernous interiors dark. Formerly vibrant theaters shed bricks and terra-cotta ornaments ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 10th 2003 by The Monacelli Press
(first published December 6th 1999)
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This book documents the decline of buildings and neighborhoods of Michigan, New York, Indiana and New Jersey. I would call it more of a photographic study on this topic, rather than an "artsy" book of photography, although some of the images in the book are certainly quite beautiful. The bulk of the book is devoted to "before" and "after" shots of these landmarks, and in many cases there are multiple photographs documenting the slow decline of one building or one block of a neighborhood.
The des ...more
The des ...more
I was glad that Brush Park in Detroit was mentioned in this book since seeing those is what first got me interested in studying urban decay. This was quite an interesting book that focused on abandonment in Detroit, Camden, Gary, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York (though mostly Detroit).
Ruin porn with redeeming social value. Vergara doesn't just exploit decayed and collapsing buildings for their sad beauty. He gets to know them, and sometimes their denizens and neighbors, complementing his lovely photos with engaging, and often depressing, stories.