Photographer's Note

The title words were spoken by a priest when a then small western outpost burned to the ground in 1805. That little outpost was Detroit and the man who said that was the beloved priest Father Gabriel Richard who went above and beyond in improving Detroit.

And here is the result of a more recent fire. It was another one of Detroit's historic buildings lost. At one time it housed the Studebaker automobile company before serving various other functions in its century long life. It had seen the rise and fall of the automobile in Detroit with Ford's first large assembly facility across the street, a Fisher Body plant a block down and numbers other facilities nearby. The area been called "The Cradle of the Automobile" for its role in putting America and the World on wheels. It saw a metropolis born through fire, the fire of industry. It saw the city boom from a moderate sized midwestern town to a worker's utopia of 2 million in just a few decades. And it saw the pride and hope everyone had in the greatest industrial center the world had ever known.

Then it stopped and it saw that population dwindle away as the city collapsed under industrial abandonment and racial divides. It saw the once respected and revered city turn into a ghost of its former self that was constantly abused by the entire nation who used its problems to symbolize of all the problems they did not want to admit to. And even the factory itself ended up mostly empty with a meat market tucked into a corner of its vast spaces.

And so here it was 2 days after a blazing inferno ravaged the building turning another once proud symbol into a pile of bricks and iron. Firefighters were still spraying down the stubborn fire then. And now, 2 months later, the debris is being cleared out and another empty block among so many others is appearing on the city's landscape.

And despite all that has been lost one must remember the words of Gabriel Richard after the 1805 fire.

"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus"

"We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes"

And it rose to incredible heights then and there is no reason that it can't once more.

You can see the previous two posts of the ruins in

"A Day in the Life"

"What Becomes of the Broken Hearted"

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Additional Photos by Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2679 W: 164 N: 2696] (7296)
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