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Old 04-23-2013, 06:34 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Here's an idea from England, giving away abandoned rowhomes and offering loans for repairs:

BBC News - Stoke-on-Trent 1 houses: Hundreds express buying interest
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
I think I know what you're talking about, but I'm not sure if it's something large scale you're talking about.

42.289755,-83.147063 - Google Maps

It's only a few city blocks, but a collection of homes are in a less than ideal location right next to an oil refinery. The oil company was going to buy up the homes and businesses there to create a buffer zone while they expand the the refinery.

Even if Detroit 'recovered', I'd expect this part of the city to continually decline or become vacant just because of the on-going health problems caused by the heavy industry in the area. There can't be too many positives to living next to an oil refinery (downwind no less).
Hantz Farms on the lower east side (with a parent company that's based in the suburbs no less).

Largest land sale in the city's history to one company. I wouldn't be surprised if it's was one of the largest land sales in the US in modern history to one company.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Here's an idea from England, giving away abandoned rowhomes and offering loans for repairs:

BBC News - Stoke-on-Trent 1 houses: Hundreds express buying interest
Lol, yea Detroit had/has something like that. Most people just ended up getting scammed because the crime problems make it nearly impossible to maintain a house. Even if the buyers have planned to live in it, it just wasn't worth the risk of being affected by crime.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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The dollar house program was too limited but very successful here. The only application that struggles is Sterling St, but that it is due to its being surrounded by nothing but vacant parking lots and a terrible urban renewal project called the Old Town Mall.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:28 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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This very interesting article claims Detroit had a mayor that deliberately encouraged white residents to leave to expand his political support. The examples the author gives aren't all that clear that they were deliberately trying to encourage whites to leave, rather than just bad choices in a bad situation with few good choices.

http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/gla...y_effect_1.pdf

James Curley, the Boston mayor, who the paper is named seems more convincing. Purposefully removing services in Anglo-Saxon neighborhoods, while funding services for the benefit of poor Irish-Americans.

While Curley built playgrounds in Dorchester and Roxbury [Irish wards], he let Scollay Square become a place where ugly tattoo parlors and sleazy burlesque houses blighted the historic landscape. While he planned exten- sive bathhouses in South Boston, the docks and piers along Atlantic Av- enue rotted on the pilings. While he laid out miles of paved sidewalks in Charlestown and East Boston, the cobblestones of Beacon Hill fell apart and the old lampposts came tumbling down.


The smaller city boundaries made WASP flight easier in most cities. I don't realize there was a flight of the native population before the postwar era, but it makes sense.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The graph of Somerville's population history is interesting. It shows a large postwar population drop, but no change in housing units:

http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/de...on914-2009.pdf

Flight of families? Abandonment probably isn't responsible for much, as vacancy rates peaked at 4% and was usually lower; usually a vacancy rate of at least a couple % is normal. Somewhere I read part of Somerville described as a "grad student ghetto" due being adjacent to Cambridge.
Detroit actually showed an increase in post-war housing and didn't show a decrease in units until a decade after the population began to decline. So it seems like for a few decades the household size probably shrank from 1940 to 1960 then followed by a high rate of white-flight from 1960 onward.



The west side of Detroit and the outskirts of the east side are primarily post-war tract homes. So much of the decline from 1950 to 1960 was most likely from urban decay and renewal around the downtown core. 1960 to 1980 is all white-flight.

In the 80s, 4 residential high-rises were built downtown totaling something like 1100 units. And I think maybe there were a few other low-income apartments built in various parts of the city. Though obviously that did nothing to stop the continuous flow of white residents leaving the city.

It does look like by the 90s, the population decline is starting to slow though there's a huge drop in housing units. I think this had to do with Detroit trying to gentrify the downtown area since it still had many poor households living in somewhat slummy apartments. The area just north of downtown used to have many row-apartment buildings and was considered one of the worse areas of the city in terms of crime. Especially given that there's two housing projects to the east and west.

By 2010, the population looks like it drops at a rate similar to the white-flight decades. The economy halted any chance of urban gentrification to occur and black-flight takes place as other posters have mentioned. Though most middle-class blacks would have likely moved prior to 2008, and those who moved after 2008 were likely of lower income or became unemployed.

Last edited by animatedmartian; 04-24-2013 at 03:21 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:22 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
It does look like by the 90s, the population decline is starting to slow though there's a huge drop in housing units. I think this had to do with Detroit trying to gentrify the downtown area since it still had many poor households living in somewhat slummy apartments. The area just north of downtown used to have many row-apartment buildings and was considered one of the worse areas of the city in terms of crime. Especially given that there's two housing projects to the east and west.
Looks like Holyoke, MA (near me) By downtown:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holyo...8.73,,0,-12.18

another. Lots of Puerto Rican flags around town. The nearby rowhouses aren't most attractive but look a bit unique.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holyo...02.64,,0,-8.15

these are intact:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holyo...27.94,,0,-8.85

This one is surprisingly nice looking:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holyo...2,132,,0,-3.04

I saw a craigslist ad for a rental there; $400 / month? If you're ok with the area there are some good rent deals. But some ads reek of desperation "Section 8 welcome! No credit check…"

Last edited by nei; 04-24-2013 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Farther up north around Wayne State, most of the apartments became off-campus student dormitories so they've been preserved a bit better than their closer to CBD counter parts.

Google Maps

Google Maps

Google Maps

They're much less common north of I-94. These are the last few collections of them before it becomes predominately SFH and two-family flats. There's still apartment buildings north and west of there, but they go from being row apartments to being less uniform and slightly smaller.


Google Maps

42.374387,-83.078517 - Google Maps


This used to be the predominant style of urban living back in the heydays of Detroit, but even then, apartment living was meant for the working class and anyone who had money had a house. So most apartments fell into disrepair and were eventually demolished with no replacements. This seems to have happened the whole length of Detroit's decline starting as early as the 1920s in some cases.

http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/imag...y=1;view=image

http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/imag...y=1;view=image

http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/imag...y=1;view=image
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Pittsburgh has a small amount of apartments similar to the Detroit ones in the neighborhood of Bloomfield. Look here, here, and here.

Pittsburgh really didn't "do" apartments on a large scale until after WW2 though. There's a whole section of Squirrel Hill chock full of ones from the 1920s though.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Not sure if this is the right thread for the question, but can someone update me on what has been happending in Detroit for the last five to ten years with regard to abandoned housing? Does the city raze a certain number of those every year? if so, has much progress been made in terms of the numbers of abondoned buildings, residential or otherwise, still standing and just decaying? Are there large areas where the buildings have been razed and just the lots remain?
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