For many years, Detroit has been little more than the butt of jokes. We hear about how awful and dangerous it is, and resolve never to step foot there. But for those of us who didn't grow up in or around the Motor City, it can be hard to envision exactly what Detroit looks like these days.
One such site that collects these time traveling pictures of Detroit is calledGooBing Detroit. Reddit userScarbanehas also assembled a gallery, although these images are available to anyone who uses the Google Maps Street View.
For instance, the picture shown above is at14686 Hazelridge Street.If you click "Street View," you can then click the little clock in the upper lefthand corner, and cycle through 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
In observing these heartbreaking pictures, it's easy to imagine that the decay may have started slowly, but then reached a tipping point before taking down everything in its path. Here you can see four homes completely wiped out within the span of five years.
However, not all of Detroit's before and after pictures show a dying city. In 2009, a public charter school bought a vacant industrial building that used to be Kendrick Manufacturing Co. After extensive renovations, The University Prep Science and Math High School opened in 2010, and it is now one of the top-ranked schools in the city.
The Book-Cadillac was Detroit's premiere luxury hotel for over 25 years after it was opened in 1924. However, as tourism began plummeting in the '80s, the hotel eventually closed. In 2006, a massive effort was made to restore the building to its former splendor. Today it is known as the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, and is once again a gorgeous destination.
As these picture show, there's still a lot that must be done in order to restore the rest of Detroit to its former glory. However, Detroit has long been known as a city capable of rising from the ashes (that same sentiment is even on their flag!). With a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, we hope to someday be able to write this same list...but in reverse.