Reckless Abandon

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a splendid weekend! Mine was very stock standard despite the amazing Spring lovely new neighbours kindly decided to crank some horrid remixes of 80's Madonna until 3 in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday, so I was feeling a little rusty for most of my weekend. Thanks so very much, upstairs guys! (I have a folder full of dubstep and drum and bass to return the favour, just you wait!)

Anyway, that's enough about my vendettas, back to bloggy goodness. So it should probably come as no surprise that I have a mild obsession with all things abandoned and neglected. Kind of masochistic for an ArchiGeek to love delapidated old buildings, but sure enough I found myself completely enchanted by this amazing photographic project, 100 Abandoned Houses.

It all began around 10 years ago when Kevin Bauman started photographing abandoned homes in suburban Detroit. Initially focusing on the now-revitalised Brush Park, Bauman eventually took his camera elsewhere, discovering entire suburbs that had been left to the elements.

Bauman estimates that there are over 12,000 abandoned houses in Detroit, but in just 100 images (well, technically now up to 103) he captures so much of the city and what it once was.

Encompassing an area of over 138 square miles, Detroit has enough room to hold the land mass of San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan Island, yet the population has fallen from close to 2 million citizens, to most likely less than 800,000. With such a dramatic decline, the abandoned house problem is not likely to go away any time soon.

Some houses look like a coat of paint could solve all their issues, while others look like they're only being held together by paint! Many are well beyond help, completely rotted, decayed and destroyed. Yet somehow, amongst all the heartbreak, there's a tiny glimmer of hope.

Ahh, such a poignant, haunting series. It's tragic to think what may have driven those 100 (+3) families away from their homes, their havens. I guess this is the time I look up and thank my lucky stars that I have a roof (and even noisy neighbours) over my head.

Meanwhile, Bauman has released a limited edition series of 5x5 prints, with a portion of the proceeds going to fantastic local organisations like Habitat for Humanity and The Greening of Detroit. Find out how you can help (and grab yourself some amazing prints in the process!) here.