To “raise awareness of the social and economic challenges the city of Detroit,” the folks at Detroiturbex decided to tell the story about an abandoned building of Lewis Cass Technical High School with the help of superimposed then-and-now photos. First, they photographed every room at the old school building, which was abandoned after a 2007 fire. Then they put the pictures of the buzzing life from the school days of the past on top of them.

These sad photo series are a mirror of today’s Detroit. The city has suffered tremendous population increases and then rapid declines. Today, Detroit is designed for 2 million people. However, less than 1/3 or ~ 700 thousand have remained in the city, leaving plenty of abandoned places. The infrastructure, built at the time of the population boom, is now run-down and an easy target for arsonists.

Update: “the school wasn’t abandoned because of a fire in 2007. A brand new, state of the art, school was completed right next door in 2005-2006, and that’s why the building was deserted. There was a fire in the abandoned school in 2007, but the building was torn down last year to make way for new athletic facilities.” (thank you, Samantha, for the info!)


School dance

A 1988 basketball game

One of several biology labs

Second floor hallway

The library, from a picture in an early 90’s yearbook

The arts mural on floor 3, 1988

Last day of school

First floor of the old auditorium

Dance hall in the new wing

Pep band makes their way through a crowd

Volleyball match