In the Loop

The one dollar house and the city of farms.

Posted at 2:58 PM on August 26, 2008 by Sanden Totten

It can either be a sign of very good or very bad economic times when a person can buy a house on a whim and still not break the bank. A home in Detroit sold for $1.00 earlier this month. I'm sure you can guess what that sign says about the economy.

It's a two story house with mint green toothpaste colored shingles and a decent sized lot. Apparently it wasn't that bad until folks found out it was empty. Once that information leaked, the copper vultures swooped in. According to Ron French of the Detroit News:

". . . Like a gazelle limping in the Serengeti -- they will take it down. You will see people pushing a wheelbarrow down the street, full of siding or copper. They take everything."

One of the strange side effects of Detroit's slow decay is that areas of the city have actually been reverting back to prairie. Native flowers and plants are taking over whole neighborhoods. The photos make the city seem almost pastoral.

And all the vacant land has got some "Rock City" residents going back to their Midwestern roots as well. Folks are buying up empty lots and starting full fledged farms in the middle of the city. And the funny thing is, Detroit has better soil than most of Northeast Michigan for growing fruits and veggies.

It's hard to look at Detroit and not envision some sort of Road Warrior-esque post-apocalyptic scene . . . but you could also look at it and imagine what the green cities of the future may look like. Mad Max meets Old MacDonald if you will. Either way, it's a city worth keeping an eye on.

August 2008
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