Crime Lab / Elementary School

STATUS: Demolished (2017)

The former Stephen Foster Elementary School ceased to be used as a school in 1987 and was re-purposed as the City of Detroit Police Department Crime Lab. It was also home to the DPD’s Tactical Services Section, including special units like the Bomb Squad, SWAT, Sharpshooter unit, etc.

The infamous Detroit Police Department Crime Lab was shut down in 2008 after it was found routinely committing “serious errors” caused in part by “the deplorable conditions of the facility”. An audit, conducted by the State Police, uncovered serious errors in numerous cases and a 10% error rate was found in firearms analysis. The audit said sloppy work had probably resulted in wrongful convictions, and officials expect a wave of appeals in cases that the laboratory processed. Upon its closure, evidence from approximately 10,000 unprocessed rape kits were discovered in the lab, dating back nearly twenty years.

The auditors said that officers at the laboratory often cut corners and that in many instances “an assumption was made to the entirety of all items based on the analysis of only a few.” Technical reviews of the work were “almost nonexistent,” they wrote. Factors that contributed to the problems, they said, were a heavy workload, a lack of training and “the deplorable conditions of the facility.”

The Detroit Free Press reported that evidence, thousands of rounds of live ammunition, blood samples, sealed evidence kits and case files (some containing Social Security numbers of rape and assault victims) lay amid rubble in the abandoned crime lab that was open to trespass.



A Break From The Norm… Nu’uanu Pali

A small break from my normal filth, grime and beautiful abandonment to bring you the beauty that is Hawai’i 🙂  Last week I had the pleasure of enjoying the trade winds that sweep through the valleys and the warm ocean waters that surround the island of O’ahu.  I had the best time!  So don’t mind me as I make a few posts sharing some amazing photos from this wonderful reprieve of our everyday life.  Have a great weekend everyone!!


Breathtakingly beautiful is the view from Nu’uanu Pali. Sadly the history of this landmark is not as beautiful. Truth be told, it was very tragic, violent and historic. Pali Lookout or “The Pali” as the locals call it is located in Nu’uanu Pali State Park. The Pali overlooks the 985-foot cliffs of the majestic Ko’olau Mountain Range.  The trade winds blow through the valley between the high mountains on either side, forming a strong wind tunnel of sorts.  This wind tunnel makes for extremely windy conditions up top.  It is said that on extra windy days, you can even lean into the wind and let the gusts hold you up.


The Nu’uanu Pali was the setting for one of the most significant battles in Hawaiian history.  In 1795 King Kamehameha I, led his forces in the legendary Battle of Nu’uanu near the scenic cliffs of the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. The King and his army invaded Oahu, arriving in an imposing fleet of war canoes at Waikiki Beach. The Oahu warriors were led by Kalanikupule, the ali’i nui of Maui and Oahu. This momentous battle resulted in the conquering of Oahu and the eventual unification of the Hawaiian Islands under one rule in 1810.

Kamehameha’s army marched to Nu’uanu Valley to face Kalanikupule’s troops. The ensuing battle was fierce, bloody and unrelenting. Gradually, Kamehameha’s men gained an advantage, forcing Kalanikupule’s forces to retreat further up the valley. The O’ahu Warriors attempted to make a final stand, but Kamehameha’s army was too strong. Thousands of Kalanikupule’s men were pursued and driven over the steep cliffs to their deaths. It’s said that the victory was so complete that not a single Oahu warrior that got into the upper part of the valley escaped alive.

In 1897 an engineering firm was hired to build what is now the Old Pali Road, a winding road used to carry traffic across the mountains. During construction, workers found an estimated 800 human skulls and other human bones at the foot of the cliffs—the century-old remains of Kalanikupule’s slain warriors.

Note: Pali means cliffs
            Ali’i means chief

Easton Theater

Once one of Detroit’s great neighborhood theaters…now a den of decay.

The Eastown opened in 1930 as a movie house, although it did have a small stage and would occasionally host stage shows during its early years. The theater featured an auditorium with a large balcony, seating just shy of 2,500 patrons.  In the mid 1960’s the Eastown closed as a movie house and embarked on an adventure that would name them to be one of Detroit’s premiere rock venues. Between 1969 and 1973, the Eastown would host a number of famous acts, a virtual who’s-who of the current rock and roll era, performers such as the Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull just to name a few.

From 1973 to 1990 the Eastown would go through many changes eventually ending in its demise and sordid reputation. In 1973 the city of Detroit forced the theater to close after failing to meet numerous health and safety codes. In 1975, it reopened as a jazz venue, but only remained open for 1 year. For a short time after, it was used for performing arts and live theater, but again closed down. In 1980, under the name “The Showcase”, the Eastown began to show adult films, but closed again in 1984. From 1984 to 1990, the Eastown was once again home to a performing arts group.  During the mid-90s, the Eastown hosted raves and later housed a church. Abandoned since the mid-late 1990’s, today the building is unused and falling apart rapidly.

A few weeks before our visit, the roof of the upper balcony completely collapsed, exposing the sky above and subjecting the remnants of the building to the elements.