Detroit

Since 2003 executive producer Jerry Smith has been revisiting his home town to capture the epic decline of this once vital and vibrant metropolis. It is a city of unparalleled contrasts, where some of the greatest examples of uniquely American architecture have been completely abandoned, while shiny glass towers and state-of-the-art stadiums rise proudly from the ashes. Nowhere else in this country or any other will you find once grand Beaux-Arts structures like the Michigan Central Depot, designed by the same firm that designed New York’s Grand Central Station, now sitting as deserted and decaying hulks, waiting patiently for someone to reclaim their grandeur (as thankfully, some of the buildings have been in recent years). Perhaps most striking is the ubiquity of facades, some twenty stories high featuring hundreds of windows, that have been turned into an enormous canvases for urban graffiti artists whose colorful works speak volumes about the character of the city’s resilient inhabitants.

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