Bleak Photos Capture The Fall Of Detroit

Downtown Detroit, View from Sibley Street down Park Avenue, Detroit, 1991

Photo: Photo © Camilo José Vergara

Detroit was once the symbol of prosperity and economic development, but with the decline of the American auto industry, the Motor City has fallen into a great state of dilapidation.The city has lost about a million of its residents (60% of its population) since the 1950s, and numerous factories, businesses and service buildings have been abandoned.

Two photography exhibitions at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. this fall explore the residential, commercial and industrial ruin of Detroit, Michigan.

Both “Detroit Is No Dry Bones” by sociologist and photographer Camilo José Vergara, who has been documenting the precipitous decline of Detroit for 25 years, and “Detroit Disassembled” by Andrew Moore, who is renowed fro his large-format photography, will be on display through February 18, 2013.

We are featuring selected images from the exhibitions, courtesy of the National Building Museum.

Hutchins Cole's Garden, 1987

Hutchins Cole's Garden, Rosa Parks Boulevard, Detroit, 1987

Downtown Detroit, 1991

Downtown Detroit, View from Sibley Street down Park Avenue, Detroit, 1991

Willie's Garage, 1991

Willie's Garage, 2520 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, 1991

Former Packard Plant, 1993

Former Packard Plant, View towards E. Grand Blvd. along interior road, west of Concord Street, Detroit, 1993

Former Michigan Central Station, Detroit, 1993

Former Michigan Central Station, Detroit, 1993

Former Michigan Central Station, 2010

Former Michigan Central Station, View from Dalzelle Street at 15th Street, Detroit, 2010

East Palmer Avenue towards Chene Street, a 95 degree day, Detroit, 1995

East Palmer Avenue towards Chene Street, a 95 degree day, Detroit, 1995

Former Oklahoma Gas Station, 1996

Former Oklahoma Gas Station, Livernois Avenue at Joy Road, Detroit, 1996

3497 Mack Avenue, Detroit, 2007

3497 Mack Avenue, Detroit, 2007

Shelter, Engine Works, Detroit Dry Dock Company Complex, Rivertown neighbourhood, 2008

Andrew Moore, Shelter, Engine Works, Detroit Dry Dock Company Complex, Rivertown neighbourhood, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 45.5 x 36 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Cooper Elementary School, East Side, 2008

Andrew Moore, Cooper Elementary School, East Side, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 62 x 78 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Rolling hall, Ford Motor Company, River Rouge Complex, Dearborn, 2008

Andrew Moore, Rolling hall, Ford Motor Company, River Rouge Complex, Dearborn, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 62 x 78 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

House on Walden Street, East Side, 2008

Andrew Moore, House on Walden Street, East Side, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 36 x 45.5 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

The Aurora, Brush Park neighbourhood, 2008

Andrew Moore, The Aurora, Brush Park neighbourhood, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 36 x 45.5 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Abandoned videoconferencing room, Chase Tower, Financial District, 2008

Andrew Moore, Abandoned videoconferencing room, Chase Tower, Financial District, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 27 x 34 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Waiting room with snowdrift, Michigan Central Station, 2008

Andrew Moore, Waiting room with snowdrift, Michigan Central Station, 2008, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 57 x 45 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Del Ray Building, 2008

Del Ray Building, 7716 West Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, 2008

National Time clock, former Cass Technical High School building, 2009

Andrew Moore, National Time clock, former Cass Technical High School building, 2009, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 34 x 27 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Chemistry lab, former Cass Technical High School building, 2009

Andrew Moore, Chemistry lab, former Cass Technical High School building, 2009, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 62 x 78 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Sculpture of Dante Alighieri, Central Avenue at Vista Drive, 2009

Sculpture of Dante Alighieri, Central Avenue at Vista Drive, Belle Isle, Detroit, 2009

Birches growing in decayed books, Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, 2009

Andrew Moore, Birches growing in decayed books, Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, 2009, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 62 x 97.5 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Former Highland Park State Bank (Wood Six Twin Adult theatre), 1993

Former Highland Park State Bank (Wood Six Twin Adult theatre), 16549 Woodward Avenue, Highland Park, 1993

Former Highland Park State Bank, 2002

Former Highland Park State Bank, 16549 Woodward Avenue, Highland Park, 2002

Former Highland Park State Bank (Déjà vu Nightclub), 2009

Former Highland Park State Bank (Déjà vu Nightclub), 16549 Woodward Avenue, Highland Park, 2009

Arnold Nursing Home, 7 Mile Road, 2009

Andrew Moore, Arnold Nursing Home, 7 Mile Road, 2009, digital chromogenic print scanned from film negative, 36 x 45.5 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Woodward Avenue at Sibley Street, Detroit, 2009

Woodward Avenue at Sibley Street, Detroit, 2009

Detroit Mural by Bernard Belafonte, Eastside Check Cashing, 2011

Detroit Mural by Bernard Belafonte, Eastside Check Cashing, McNichols East at Alcoy Avenue, Detroit, 2011

Pilgrim Church, 2011

Pilgrim Church, Grand River Avenue at Trumbull Street, Detroit, 2011

Nicky D's Coney Island, 2011

Nicky D's Coney Island, Warren Avenue West at Livernois Avenue, Detroit, 2011

Ruth Chapel AME Church, 2012

Want to see photos of Detroit in its better days? Check out..

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.