Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back To Nature: Photos of Detroit's "Feral" Houses

I've seen "feral" used to describe dogs, cats, even goats. But I have wondered if it couldn't also be used to describe certain houses in Detroit. Abandoned houses are really no big deal here. Some estimate that there are as many as 10,000 abandoned structures at any given time, and that seems conservative. But for a few beautiful months during the summer, some of these houses become "feral" in every sense: they disappear behind ivy or the untended shrubs and trees planted generations ago to decorate their yards. The wood that framed the rooms gets crushed by trees rooted still in the earth. The burnt lime, sand, gravel, and plaster slowly erode into dust, encouraged by ivy spreading tentacles in its endless search for more sunlight.

Like some of the dogs I've seen using these houses as shelter, these houses are reverting to a wild state, as from domestication, a word derived itself from domesticus (the Latin for belonging to the domus, or house). Now these houses are feralis. They belong only to the dead. 

From the Sweet Juniper blog, written by "two more people raising their kids in the most dangerous city in America." Check out the photos of more Detroit feral houses here.


At 8/20/2009 9:28 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

The Sweet Juniper blog could sell advertising to realtors with all its "green construction houses" being pictured. ... Nah, that ain't gonna work.

Interesting blog, BTW.

At 8/20/2009 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man is that depressing.

At 8/20/2009 3:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Think about the possibility of setting up safaris to deal with the feral dogs and have Michael Vick be the safari leader as he drives you around in this customized safari wagon...

It could be a real money maker...:-)

At 8/20/2009 6:26 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Disney has amusement parks that feature goodness and are future oriented with Cinderella and Tommorrowland. But how about the Bad Disney for the 21st century in Detroit? Crumbling cultural and business buildings along with steet thugs that are not allowed to be out of character within the Bad Disney city limits. I'm sorry "1" but the Jungle Ride is so last century for goodness sake.

At 8/20/2009 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have they reverted to cave-like behavior?


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