Monday, April 7, 2008

Civic decay

The former Lowell Middle School sits empty on the East Side. Photo via Jeana-Dee Allen/The Flint Journal.

Some of Flint's biggest eyesores — including Whaley Pool and Homedale Elementary School — are owned by city entities. Joe Lawlor of The Flint Journal reports:

"Throughout Flint, there are at least 17 examples in which public entities -- including Hurley, the city and the Flint School District -- have abandoned buildings they own, a Flint Journal analysis found through a review of property records, a visual inspection of the properties and talking to neighbors.

"In many cases, those buildings are now dilapidated shells, only shadows of the structures they once were. All have been abandoned in the past dozen or so years.

"Myron Orfield, president of Ameregis, a Minnesota-based think tank that examines urban and suburban issues, said problems can worsen in city neighborhoods that experience dilapidated, closed schools or vacant homes that are left to decay.

"'When neighborhoods go into general disrepair, it accentuates people's general bad feelings,'Orfield said."

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at