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The Breathtaking Then-and-Now Photos of an Abandoned Detroit High School


"Detroit has no other option but to change."

Some would argue the city of Detroit has experienced a boom and bust like no other in the last century. With the automotive and factory industry in the 1920s and onward spurring the city's population, infrastructure to support it followed. But industry changes led to economic downfall that depressed the city, causing much of the population to leave, while its infrastructure remains, crumbling.

The website is featuring the dilapidated state of the city. It states that "Detroit has no other option but to change." The project is on hand "documenting that change."

One of its projects is of the abandoned, original building of Cass Technical High School. Detroiturbex put together eerie then and now images. Here are just a sampling of those:

The old building was torn down officially in 2011. Here's a time-lapse video showing some of the demo:

The group also takes you through an interactive photo tour of the building's 10 levels (a cool feature is as you click each each level it builds the school up higher). The imagery for the interactive Cass Tech model was created with Google Sketchup Pro. Detroiturbex constructed it using blueprints, student records and a survey of the buildings in 2010 when they photographed each room.


The entire get-up took more than a year to finish. Be sure to take the interactive tour through the school on Detroitturbex's website here.

The school itself was founded in 1907 with the original building being completed in 1919. The new Cass Tech building was constructed in 2004 and the old school experienced a fire in 2007. Detroiturbex states that just five years after opening, the new school suffers from "shoddy workmanship and poor planning."

You can see more of Detroiturbex's photos of the school in a then-and-now slideshow format here.

The Detroiturbex project as a whole is intended to "raise awareness of the social and economic challenges the city of Detroit faces through photography." The artist acknowledges that many of the places documented, like many urban exploring adventures, have not been accessed legally.

Detroiturbex has cased churches, neighborhoods, parks, schools and other buildings extensively. Find more about them here.

This story was updated to include that the building was officially demolished in 2011. 

(H/T: Business Insider)

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