On an almost forgotten lot outside of Detroit, in a ‘cul de sac’ of sorts, three buildings once stood…a Municipal Building (pictured below), the Fire Department Headquarters (pics) and a Police Station (demolished in 2012 and replaced with a brand new Fire Station in 2013). What now sits in decay, once represented “law and safety” to a very proud community.
The municipal building was built in the 1920’s, and contained a lobby, city offices, a courtroom, and housed numerous criminal and city records. In 2001 the building was abandoned when the city turned over its operations to the state, due to lack of city finances necessary to maintain the facility/dept. The building sat quietly, left to decay, but as is typical, it was eventually broken into and vandalized. Records were strewn about in upstairs offices and in 2011 a fire erupted and severely damaged part of the building.
I had been looking forward to seeing this building since I first planned our trip. I was elated when we drove past it and it was still there lol, as a few of the locations I planned to explore had been demolished since my last visit. We circled the block as we normally do when we’re attempting to explore in a populated area, found an, out of the way place to park, grabbed our camera backpacks and scurried across a small field, toward the building. I was all smiles when we walked inside! It was more beautiful than I had imagined. We entered downstairs and due to the lighting conditions we could only explore a portion of that floor. It was pitch black toward the offices and I didn’t have enough balls to get comfy and whip out my tripod for some slow shutter pics, which I’m sure would have come out fantastic. One of the main doors is wide open and happens to face the newly built Fire Station across the driveway, and I didn’t want us to be in the sightline of anyone walking by. So after snapping a few pics, we headed upstairs. When we got up there…OMG, the hallways were glorious, the courtroom was awesome, and there were even garbage bags still lining the 2 small garbage cans I found. When walking through the offices we found rolls of film (with mugshots), old computers, a briefcase, fingerprint records, books, encyclopedia sets and a ton of city & court documents. It was a great explore!