Sunday, May 4, 2008

Surreal Estate

Given the crime, the foreclosure rate, and the general decay, you may not want to actually live in the Civic Park neighborhood where I grew up, but you can still enjoy these scale models designed and executed by Garry McDaniel.


  1. Our first home was on Bassett Place which is just around the corner from Civic Park School and closer to Haskell Community Center. It was a quiet neighborhood when we moved there in 1982. We had Double D market and Balkan Bakery. Haskell was actually still open with a nice pool. Bassett Park had tennis courts and softball fields. As time went on and the neighborhood changed in that the old folks died off and their kids began renting those homes it was no longer a safe neighborhood. When my next door neighbor resorted to crack sales as a means of making a living and with his gun play and stripping stolen vehicles in the driveway I was advised by a Flint Police officer friend of mine that it was time for me to leave. So, after 7 1/2 years I sold my house for a loss and we left with our lives. A sad but true story.

  2. Bassett Place? 1982? Do I know you? I lived at 2402 from about 1974-1985

  3. Oh Slick that is sooo sad....My grandparent and mother and uncle lived on Mt Elliott right down from Haskell. I went there to visit my grandmother and I love Haskell. My uncle sold up as well about the same time as you and moved out. I went tback there recently to take photos of my grandma and aunt's home in that area and I was scared off by a crazy eyed man who looked like he would be carrying a gun. The Balkan bakery is still there though...Most of the houses in that neighborhood are boarded up or all stripped of their metals.
    Roadside Diner Lover

  4. What a beautiful park. Greenway was always one of my favorite streets. The Sid Atkinson sculpture at Brownell/Greenway/Welch is a sun bleached Flint classic.

    A graffiti tag on the utility station at Dayton and Brownell used to always intrigue me. "Big Ol' Wells" it read. I remember it was quite faded, and this was around 1980. Who was Big Ol' Wells? For some reason I used to always picture a 350 lb. Viking offensive tackle...

    Uh, anybody here familiar with Hidden (Dougherty?) Park at Welch and Chevrolet?

  5. Was Garry McDaniel a science teacher at Central? If so, I had him for biology in 1982.

  6. There was a guy I remember a few years back who had his scale models of Martin Elementary, Old Northern, and a typical Oak Park house on display at the library. The Urinal wrote an article about him as well. His work had amazinng detail.


Thanks for commenting. 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