Detroit’s most valuable jewels are its neighborhoods
Stephen Vogel has been in metro Detroit for nearly 50 years. He has worked as an architect and now teaches architecture at University of Detroit Mercy.
While it pains him to see buildings like the train station in such disrepair, he says the neighborhoods are what it’s really all about.
Vogel says we’re one of the top cities in the nation for historically designated buildings, “And part of that is because of these huge neighborhoods like Boston Edison .”
And it’s not just middle or upper middle class neighborhoods, but it’s also places like Corktown and Southwest Detroit.
These neighborhoods are the fabric of Detroit. And over the years areas with mainly brick homes have fared better than those where the majority of homes are frame.
Vogel told us, “When they’re abandoned it makes a huge difference because wood’s going to deteriorate very quickly compared to the brick.
But it’s people, he says, who really make a difference in a neighborhood, not construction materials. “You can tell immediately from one block to the next where there is a strong neighborhood organization and where there isn’t.”
That means it’s up to us to take action to prevent our jewels from becoming even more tarnished.
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