Wednesday, 3 June 2015

SNAPSHOTS: The National Theater

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I feel like i'm somewhat breaking my no ruin porn presence posting these photographs of Detroit's National Theatre. In fact, i've been holding off from posting these images for over a year. I've hummed and arrhed, and re-editing the photographs somewhat called me into action. The National Theatre in Detroit is one of the key historical buildings, it has a history, it still has a presence yet it's pretty much a ruin, a lost landmark of a former time. It's neighbours have all been demolished, arguments over it's future are always on going. And still is stands. For me, this is what is making it worthy of a post.

When we were downtown for the jazz festival in 2013 I remember walking back to the car behind a car park that was in the midst of being torn down, little did I know at the time that this carpark was at the back of the National Theatre which stands pretty much alone along that side of Monroe Avenue. The first time I came across this grand old place was upon my first wander around Detroit, under the carpark was a row of small business, one I remember of a little hat store. They are now long gone and in honesty Detroit has a lot of carparks, it probably is better off without it all the same.

When the theatre was built in 1911, Monroe Avenue was part of the theatre district - its now the only one remaining. It's Moorish style exterior was lit back in it's heyday with hundreds of bulbs set into the archway, you can only imagine how the terracotta must have glistened, the cupid watching you from above, how people must have come from far and wide to see a play. Today it stands between arguments to tear it down (perhaps its too far gone especially internally) or find a new purpose for the building.

As the National Threatre once was - image source.

While this post is never intended to worship the ruins, it's a post to appreciate it's remaining beauty - it's colourful tiles to how proud it stands. If you're interested in finding out more about the National Theatre - Historical Detroit website is an excellent resource for information and photographs - both then and now for both this and many other important Detroit buildings.

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