Detroit Yacht Club
Well I know that the Detroit Yacht Club is certainly NOT abandoned, but it is largely unseen by the public eye, therefore, it is DETROIT UNSEEN. Sometimes I like to include some of Detroit’s true architectural gems on the Detroit Unseen Tumblr because most people don’t and/or won’t see these places in their lifetime. Since I was so lucky to have been able to photograph and explore them, I though that this would also be a great way to share them. An example of this is when I posted the Masonic Temple a while back. So here is another great example. The Detroit Yacht Club is a VERY private place. It is also a very unique and exquisite structure that has some of the most gorgeous architectural detail in Detroit. The Detroit Yacht Club is a private marina and sailing club off of Belle Isle. The Detroit Yacht Club clubhouse is a Mediterranean-style villa that is the largest yacht club in the Unites States. It was designed by famed architect George Mason, who also designed the Masonic Temple, and built in 1922-1923.
I love the photo's you took around Detroit. I just recently got into urbex myself. How do you get in to these places? Do you call the owners and ask for permission or just sneak in?
Never that…I have never gotten permission for a single location, although I don’t recommend doing it the way I have, it wouldn’t be TRUE “urban exploring” always getting permission to shoot locations. I think that it is most definitely smarter to go the whole permission route especially today because Detroit is really cracking down on photographers/explorers. I have been doing this long enough that I could quite today (but I would never do such a thing) and still use pictures from locations from 5 years ago, or back when exploring wasn’t as big as it is now. I use my TUMBLR ONLY for locations that have been demolished and/or that the public cannot easily access. I have a Facebook, check it out at https://www.facebook.com/DetroitUnseen and a twitter at https://twitter.com/DetroitUnseen I don’t name any of the photographed locations (on either website) for specific reasons. Enjoy!
Here is another post in remembrance of the fallen Arnold Home. The location was not only massive in size, but it was indeed one of the first locations that I explored when I first started doing this back in like 2008. Unfortunately, during my first trip to the Arnold Home, back then I only had a point-and-shoot camera. I was more into the exploring aspect, rather than the photography. Today, it is quite vise versa. I tend to focus on the photography aspect, rather than the exploring. Today, I couldn’t ever imagine exploring with a camera, Anyway, so I’m sort of paying some type of homage to one of my first locations that I ever explored. The Arnold Home was razed earlier this summer. The first photo shows some of the patient/resident paperwork that the nurses and doctors had to fill out and keep up with on a regular basis. It is actually a “skin and body alert form” from when the doctors/nurses would check on patient’s on a daily basis. It looks as if the nurses would have to examine every single patient at least twice a day to see if there were any strange marks or bruising. It looks like there was nothing wrong upon inspection of this patient, but we saw some paperwork that was “quite” different and honestly, it was a little suspicious. I won’t post that stuff because it has real people’s names and personal information on it. The second picture shows a surprisingly clean and somewhat newer of a desk in a dirty room that seems to be nearly falling apart. A coffee mug sits strangely alone on the corner of the desk, as an old calendar hangs on the wall, and overgrown trees grow outside in the courtyard. The third picture shows the ceiling collapse in the former cafeteria that tragically claimed the lives of two men that were scrapping metal from the structures support frame. This picture was taken just days after the unfortunate accident.
I decided to post two pictures of the now razed Arnold Home because it was so massive and the owners and operators had decided to shut the doors to the Arnold Home and leave everything behind. Now days, when the buildings become abandoned, it seems that there is at least a little more effort to remove most of the furnishings and belongings . A few years ago it seemed that every abandoned building had left property behind. I believe that the Detroit Public School “Rape of Jane Cooper” Detroit Free Press article had everyone realizing that they should never leave anything behind. Then just a few years later, the abandoned Detroit Police Crime Lab was exposed for leaving all their stuff behind, including evidence and live ammunition. So fast forward to today and you will clearly see why usually building owners will now make sure that they remove most of the property before completely abandoning the location. Anyway, I explored the Arnold Home for the first time back in like 2008. It was actually one of the first locations that I was able to photograph while exploring. Back then, the Arnold Home had in fact left everything behind. Also back in 2008, the Arnold Home had just a couple ways in and out of the building. The scrappers had most definitely hit the building, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in the later years. I can remember finding all sorts of interesting things while exploring the Arnold Home. We found people’s record, like past employee’s social security numbers and address information. We found former patient death certificates. We found patient injury reports, complete with the actual pictures of the injury! It was absolutely mind blowing at the time because this was before I had seen everything that I have seen now. I was just a rookie explorer back in those days haha lol. The second picture shows a patients personal collage that once hung on the wall outside their door. The collage is complete with pictures, family photos, college degrees, and even a marriage certificate. I remember feeling quite sad when I found this and decided to snap a quick shot. In the later years the Arnold Home became a scrappers haven and a squatters paradise. By 2012, the massive white columns that gave the Arnold Home its famous neoclassical look, had completely collapsed into a pile of rubble. There were more then a dozen ways in and out of the Arnold Home. In December of 2011, the Arnold Home was home to a horrific scene. Two scrappers were cutting steel beams in the ceiling of the old cafeteria and the ceiling eventually came collapsing down on top of both men. They were literally trapped underneath a huge pile of concrete, plaster, and drywall. The men were reported missing and were eventually found at the Arnold Home days after they were last seen. The first picture actually shows the old cafeteria where these scrappers were killed. This picture was taken about 6 months before this terrible accident. Click here or copy site for the story: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/14/breaking-nursing-home-collapses-two-die/
Well it’s official…..The Arnold Home has been completely demolished! The former nursing home was a massive wasteland of buildings located at 7 Mile and Glastonbury. Over the years, the Arnold Home got worse and worse. On my first visit to explore the Arnold Home, the main building was in decent shape. The front of the building was really magnificent looking. When you would walk up the driveway to the main entrance, the massive white columns on the front of the building looked like something from the White House. The columns were about four stories high and gave the Arnold Home it’s neoclassical style appeal. I never saw the Arnold Home in it’s heyday, but I can only imagine the beauty of this building. The were several buildings on the property, but nothing compared to the main building. The smaller buildings were just little apartment-type structures filled with old furniture and people’s old clothing. The main building had everything inside of it. They left everything behind at the Arnold Home. The rooms still had beds and dressers, the cafeteria still had tables and chairs, the lounge had a TV and a couch, and, as you can see from the above picture, the Nurses Station still had paperwork, medicine, and supplies.
Miller Middle School
I can’t believe that it has been like 3 weeks since my last post. I try to update regularly, but it seems to almost be impossible these days. Anyway, Miller Middle School is not quite being demolished, but it is being completely renovated into a new state-of-the-art charter school. I am so glad that I was able to explore Miller Middle School before they began this lengthy project. Miller Middle School was one of Detroit’s largest Middle Schools, as it served most of the lower Southeastern side and downtown Detroit students. Many famous Detroiters are Miller Middle School alumni and from 1933 until 1957, Miller Middle School actually served as the “black” high school of Detroit after many parents complained that there children had to go to school with black students. In 1957, Miller Middle School became an actual middle school. Miller Middle School was built in 1920 and was designed by the noted architects William Malcomson and William Higginbotham. Miller Middle School was closed by DPS in 2007 and bought by a private charter school last year. The picture is the former weight room at Miller Middle School, as you can see even the weights and equipment was left behind.
Grayling Elementary School
OMG!!! My bad peeps, I didn’t realize it had almost been a month since mah last post….sorry! Anywhoooo, not the greatest shot I’ve ever taken, but the point being is that I took it myself! It was my old point-and-shoot piece and the picture was one of my very first pictures taken from Grayling Elementary School. Obviously from my very first visit to Grayling, this picture was taken in late 2008. The picture above shows almost the same view, taken approximately 4 years later. The comparison and difference between the two shots is mind-blowing. In 4 short years, the scrappers have removed anything of value, including any metal that was in the auditorium. All the seats are scattered in pieces all over the floor of the auditorium, as the metal frames of the chairs were scrapped for money. The staircase in the back that led to the projection booth are long gone. Not just the railing is missing, but the entire stairway has disappeared! Scrappers make quick money by exchanging metal for cash money and Detroit is the scrap capital. Everything gets scrapped here in Detroit, even the Hart Plaza Fountain pipes came up missing! No more water fountain at Hart Plaza to help cool us off on these hot summer days….what a shame. But, the point again is that before Detroit Public Schools used motion-sensor/cameras that have state-of-the-art silent alarms, they used metal VPS sheets to cover the windows and doors. That didn’t work out so well neither. Grayling Elementary School is an example of what happened to many of the of the Detroit Public Schools that were VPS’d because the schools were still left unpatrolled and unprotected. And that is definitely a shame!
Grayling Elementary School
Grayling Elementary School was built in 1917, and just like almost everything built in that era, it was made with precise detail and immaculate beauty. Just look at the fireplace above. The first picture was taken in 2009 and shows the amazing pewabic pottery tiles that had adorned this small masterpiece. Sure the fireplace wasn’t a big deal, but it was small details like this that made Grayling Elementary School (as well as other schools from that time period) so unique. You can see that some A-hole people came in and removed the tiles and left the poor fireplace looking naked. The second picture is from my last visit to Grayling Elementary School in early 2013. Grayling Elementary School closed it’s doors in 2005, and was demolished a couple of weeks ago.
Wayne County Community College
Well I decided to post two pictures of the Wayne County Community College on this post because these pictures are nothing special and they are rather boring. The reason is because I am sort-of “saving” my great pictures for another idea. Anyway, I thought that my followers deserved two pictures on this post. The first/top picture shows the former “Registration” room. This room is where all the future students came to register for classes, file for financial aid, receive academic advising, and schedule semester classes. If you look close enough (maybe lol) you may be able to read that the “orange” is Financial Aid, ”blue” is the Academic Advising, and the “yellow” is Registration. You may also notice that the drinking fountains appear to be in the midst of being removed and/or scrapped. The second picture shows the hallway at Wayne County Community College that leads to the dental school. The dental school section was pretty cool because of all of the items and equipment that was left behind. It made for some interesting photos. The ceiling tiles are falling down as the sign for the “Dental Auxiliary Program and Laboratory” hangs in the middle of the hallway. Pretty boring shots when you compare them to some of the other shots that I have from the college. Anyway, I will always remember the Wayne County Community College Northwest Campus because it was by far one of my favorite locations to explore. It is kinda sad, but I love it when the people leave all of the stuff behind in the abandoned buildings and then it is there for me to go through and photograph. This was the case at Wayne County Community College. Enjoy!
Wayne County Community College
Detroit is certainly the mecca for abandoned buildings. Living in the City of Detroit can be very fun if urban exploring is your hobby, like it is mine. It can be like having a giant playground at your disposal. Detroit has abandoned everything. Any type of building or business that you can think of, Detroit has it and it’s abandoned. Obviously abandoned schools are all over the city, but this is certainly not just an ordinary abandoned school. It is actually an abandoned college campus. It is a series of different buildings all connected together. It was truly amazing, but the craziest thing about this abandoned college campus, it is actually the second abandoned college campus in Detroit! That’s right, Detroit actually has two abandoned college campuses. Anyway, this location was one that I had to keep secret until they tore it down. I know a lot of people wanted to get into the Wayne County Community College, so I’m going to make many explorer’s jealous with this post haha lol ;) It will always be one of my favorite locations that I have explored. Well I know that it really didn’t make sense to tear this building down. Sometimes I just don’t get the theory behind what or why people do what they do. This building was only about 50 years old when they decided to tear it down. I was able to get into the former Wayne County Community College before they had torn it down so I was able to see that the structure was very sound and certainly intact. There were some problems, such as flooding (as you can see from this picture) and scrapped out piping, but overall the building was in great shape. I guess I shouldn’t always jump to conclusions about what people do, but this building was the last building I thought was going to be demolished. Just a few years ago, this location served many college students on the westside of Detroit. This was the former Northwest Campus of the Wayne County Community College, before it moved to it’s current location at West Outer Drive. I knew that the old college was abandoned and I had probably driven by more then 1,000 times over the years, at least it seems like that many! Anyway, Wayne County Community College had private security that guarded the property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For a couple years, it seemed as if getting into the abandoned college campus would be a dream, but that dream became a reality one day. I was very lucky to be able to explore and document this fine building. I will post a few posts on this location because it was not only HUGE, but it was very enjoyable. This picture looks down at the main entrance and lobby of the former Northwest Campus of the Wayne County Community College. You can see the Northwest banners hanging on the wall above the flooded student commons. The other lower area that is dry was the information desk and security area of the college.