Detroit Now & Then: Decay

Decay can be found in many forms, including economic, social, and physical decay. As people moved out of Detroit through the latter half of the twentieth century, the buildings they left behind gradually became vacant and started to decay. Once decay sets in, it begins to unravel the physical and social fabric of a neighborhood.

Highland Park High School, above in 1955 and 2012, once served a vibrant suburb of Detroit. At its peak in the 1950's, thousands of students attended school every day. The steady loss of the major employers in the 1970's and 80's led to a decline in population, and the neighborhood around the school never recovered. Today, the total number of students attending all Highland Park Schools could easily fit in the auditorium of the former high school, which closed for good in 2009.

Original photo: 1955. Highland Park School District
Newer photo: July, 2012