An abandoned building can be a potent symbol of a bad economy or a depressed area. So-called "ruin porn" has been decried and criticized as unhelpful voyeurism, but the pictures of crumbling buildings in places like Gary, IN and Detroit, MI continue to multiply on photo sharing sites across the web.
After all, the Midwest is littered with abandoned factories. Michigan and Illinois have home foreclosure rates among the highest in the country, with Ohio following not far behind. And the picture isn't much better for commercial real estate, where vacant structures include everything from strip malls to office buildings.
Some of these buildings will never be revived and are destined to remain empty or eventually be demolished.
And yet, despite the tough market, redevelopment is happening. Throughout the region, local communities, private developers and individuals with vision are trying to take advantage of a buyer’s market.
Changing Gears, a public media collaboration between Michigan Radio, WBEZ and Ideastream in Cleveland, is exploring the challenges and opportunities of abandoned buildings as part of its ongoing exploration of the industrial Midwest.
We want to know about and chronicle this transformation of the landscape - and we want you to help:
What do you think makes a building worth saving?
Is there an abandoned building in your neighborhood that absolutely drives you crazy?
And if you're redeveloping an old building, how it’s going?
(And we'd love to see the transformation...)
Contribute to our coverage: Click on the question links above - and send us your pictures of abandoned buildings in your area, and rehabilitated ones.
Here;s the link to leae your comments...and let us know too, so we can post photos as well!
Empty Buildings: Eyesore or untapped potential?
We know we have a few....let's see if we can work with to help highlight our potential, and get some development!