Detroits Abandoned Neighborhoods

During my stay in Michigan, I couldn’t resist but do some exploring around Detroits abandoned neighborhoods.

You might know from previous posts, that I try to avoid touristy places, even though it’s not always possible, and rather explore areas which aren’t so popular.

Before driving into Detroits suburbs, I did some research and found out that actually many people would be interested in going there but decide not to, due to the high crime rate.

I, however, decided to have a closer look, and told myself, if I feel unsafe at any point, to just stay in the car.

My first stop was Brush Park. When I arrived there, I was surprised. I’ve never seen such a high police presence before. In nearly every side road were police cars and officers, but hardly any pedestrians.

I felt so safe that I chose to park my car and roam around the almost empty streets carrying my expensive camera in order to take photos. The abandoned, broken mansions looked incredible. They were all over the place, it’s hard to imagine why people left all that behind.

I crossed a couple of roads and all of a sudden a huge fox was standing in front of me. He seemed to be checking me out and then left into the garden of one of the villas. I would have never expected to see a fox in a metropolitan area.

Midnight at Brush Park. Get prints here


Abandoned Mansion during a foggy night. Get prints here


Beautiful, abandoned house at Brush Park. For prints click here


Red bricks on a white house. Prints are available here


Castle at Brush Park. Get prints here.


Forgotten toys. Get prints here

My next stop was Michigan Central Station, which used to be the main rail depot in Detroit, the key gateway to the Midwest. Today, the building is abandoned, and broken. The train passengers are long gone. You find yourself alone in front of a huge building, no one’s around. No cars, no people.

Closed entrance to Michigan Central Station. Get prints here


Gasmask on a fence at Michigan Central Station. For prints click here


Toxic skies at Michigan Central Station. Prints are available here

I moved on to the other side of the city, to the former Packard Automotive Plant. A lot of policemen were around that place as well, so I decided to also get out of the car to take some photos. Where a hundred years ago luxury cars were produced, a symbol of wealth and progressiveness for that area, you find today only the remnants of those golden times.


Packard Plant. Get prints here


Window to Detroits past. Get prints here


Graffiti in Detroits suburbs. Prints are available here


Broken plant. Get prints here


Street where Henry Ford produced the Model T. Get prints here


Inside Packard Plant. Get prints here

I left Detroit with a bittersweet feeling, thinking about its former glory, and the remains that are still there, which will keep the memories in every broken brick for the next centuries.

After all I can highly recommend exploring Detroits neighborhoods. But always take care and check out the surroundings first, as situations might change.

All of the photos displayed in this blog post were taken in Detroit. I did some editing on most of them, in order to be able to share the atmosphere. Being surrounded by abandoned mansions and empty train stations as well as broken factories, felt like being in a movie set and very surreal. You can get prints of all my photos in my shop.






37 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Wow, a great set of photos! I admire your courage in getting these photos. I grew up in Oakland County, next county north of Wayne County and Detroit. I see the decades of poor voter choices having added to the decay of the city as well as Michigan relying too heavily on the auto industry as it’s main economy.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you very much, John. You’re very right with what you said. I feel sorry for all the people who lost their jobs because of the mistakes and wrong decisions of people in power.

  2. enmanscamera says:

    I enjoyed your commentary and photos.

  3. fallcorn1936 says:

    Great Pictures which really capture the moment and show just how much even great cities can go downhill, fast. BTW, you are one brave fellow getting out of your car and alone…

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you! I wouldn’t have gotten out of the car, if there wouldn’t have been such a high police presence. I actually felt very safe therefore. Detroit is still very beautiful. It has it’s own, unique beauty.

  4. These photos are absolutely stunning. I visited Detroit via train about 30 years ago and must have pulled into that train station. It was midnight when I arrived and so excited about visiting an old friend from college that I did not pay attention to the station. That friend became my husband and we lived in the city for about a year and a half before moving to Oakland County which John mentioned above. We lived in a huge house with beveled glass windows and tiny closets. I have recently begun to go back and visit the city and our old neighborhood. The architecture is stunning and neighborhood gardens are beginning to spring up in deserted lots. We moved mostly because of the schools. I had a son in elementary school at the time.
    Thanks for these beautiful photos of my previous home town.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      What a beautiful story Luanne! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. It’s fascinating how photos can bring back memories. I’m glad you liked my shots. And also I’m glad you started to go back to your old neighborhood. Those places are too beautiful to be forgotten.

  5. Tom Schultz says:

    Great atmosphere in your photos. In 1950, 3/4 of all autos manufactured in the world were built in the US, and most of those came off assembly lines in SE Michigan. One summer I worked at the Ford Rouge complex in suburban Detroit; it had employed 60,000 workers in the 1950s. Clearly, that was not sustainable. But, the transition to a post-industrial Detroit could have been managed much better.

  6. Great post. Some awesome photography work.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you very much!

  7. Roda says:

    Awesome shots!

  8. I worked in Farmington Hills, a northwestern Detroit suburb in 1994. Detroit reached its peak population of 1.8 million with the 1950 census. I think what destroyed Detroit mostly were the 1973 and 1979 oil crises, as they had a major impact on those huge “land yachts” that people were not interested in buying anymore. That resulted in decreased sales, job losses, and people moving to other cities and states to find jobs.

  9. Keith Haney says:

    What amazing photos. I used to live and serve a church in Detroit. How sad to see a once-proud city reduced to rubble and memories of greatness.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      It really is. Let’s hope that things will change and that one day this incredible city will come back to its former glory.

  10. Really awesome series. Well worth the risk! Thought also doing that during my last stay in Detroit but couldn’t convince myself to do it! Chapeau !!

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you! You should definitly go there next time you’re around Detroit. I’ve never seen so many policemen in one spot before. I think they try to get rid of crime there.

  11. anne leueen says:

    Very evocative photos.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you, Anne.

  12. Mike says:

    Some of these buildings are – were – gorgeous. What a waste.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      It really is. But most of them are for sale now, at very low prices. Lets hope that will attrackt some buyers, who restore them.

  13. pjlazos says:

    Fantastic photos!

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  14. Those are very important photographs that you’ve taken. Pictures are true statements that record our histories. Thanks for the likes and follow (s).πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

    1. vastfreedom says:

      You are very welcome, and thank you too. I’m glad I decided to go there and were able to explore some areas that played an important role in American history.

  15. chebandbecky says:

    It certainly is sad to see the amount of abandoned homes. I think you captured the beauty and dereliction very well.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you. The atmosphere around Detroits neighborhoods was unique.

  16. Outstanding photo essay. You have a great eye for composition and your post processing quite extraordinary. Would love to do some urbex in Detroit. Sorry I missed your work in the past, but glad you found me. Look forward to more of your work!

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you so much! I’m really excited that you also decided to explore Detroit. I’m looking forward already to seeing your photos of that beautiful city.

  17. Wow. Incredible photos. Incredible!!! So clever are you.

    1. vastfreedom says:

      Thank you so much!!! πŸ™‚

  18. It’s really sad to see those gorgeous buildings abandoned. But they make great photos! The sky is particularly ominous.

  19. Hi! How are you?
    First off, you take really good pictures the way you capture Detroit and the atmosphere you put into the houses and everything else is remarkable.
    Also, I’d like to personally thank you for stopping by my page twice and liking 2 of my poems.
    Curious, how did you find my page and what drew you into reading my poems? I know their weird and not like anyone else or anything like poetry itself.
    I’m Charlie Zero…pleasure to make your acquaintance.
    Is it okay to call you ‘Vastfreedom’?
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    I followed your page and now I’m interested to read more of your work. πŸ™‚

    1. vastfreedom says:

      I’m good, thank you! How are you?
      Thank you very much!

      Well honestly it was by accident. I was scrolling through the dashboard and came across “Houdini telephoned his hemorrhoids and hung up”. The title made me very curious.
      I wouldn’t call your poems weird. I like them, because they are very unique. I would call them art. I have never read poems like that before. You play very well with words.

      It’s a please to meet you too, Charlie Zero.
      You can call me Inga.

      Thank you also for the follow! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read more of your work as well.

      1. Cool. Cool. You welcome.

        I’m doing well. Just enjoying the evening. πŸ™‚

        Awesome! Glad you enjoyed the Houdini poem. πŸ™‚

        Please to meet you as well, Inga.

        My next works will get crazy or just experimentally weird. hahahaha!!!

        How long have you been doing photography? You’re really good.

  20. Love your vision and the way you fill your viewfinder with creativity and a message of a picture tells a thousand words. Great work

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