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American Ruins

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  70 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
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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Jun 09, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it
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
Kelly K
Jun 26, 2014 Kelly K rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
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).
Nov 26, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: architecture
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.
Apr 18, 2008 Katherine marked it as to-read
what?! I hadn't added this yet?! I haven't read it yet because I can't check it out from the library here, I've been meaning to order a used copy online...I recommend all his books.
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