From the 8/31/09 New Yorker: “Still, she recognized that the aesthetic enjoyment of dereliction was a recondite and ultimately unsustainable pursuit.”

Perhaps. I find these touching photos of Detroit’s abandoned, overgrown houses from Sweet Juniper! disturbing because they are lush and lovely. Finding aesthetic beauty in a destroyed home, abandoned by the families that once lived there, symbol of unemployment and economic depression in a moribund once-community . . . it all seems horribly inappropriate. Yet there is a calm, timeless beauty in dereliction, isn’t there? Perhaps it’s a memento mori thing. . .


More haunting “feral house” photos at Sweet Juniper! Via Virginia Hughes.


  1. #1 PalMD
    September 7, 2009

    The more traffic SJ gets, the better. Thanks for showing it off. It’s a terrific blog. Who needs discovery channel when you can drive a couple of miles and see what happens “after people”?

  2. #2 Tony P
    September 7, 2009

    An old General Electric plant is about a half mile from me. One part of it is completely covered by ivy. It’s not abandoned but underused at the moment. I’d love to have the money to buy it.

  3. #3 Sonya
    September 7, 2009

    I agree that these photos are beautiful & invoke a feeling of calm. Maybe I like the idea of how nature has taken over- they are the antipathy of those suburban gardens where everything has been strimmed into a sterile deadening attempt at control.
    An interesting site – I’ll look again !

  4. #4 Size
    September 7, 2009
  5. #5 george
    September 7, 2009

    the photographer of those houses is the one quoted in the vice article about outsider photographers coming for ruin porn.

    this stuff, I think is something different from the typical “ruin porn.”

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.