Packard Plant – Trip 3

I remember this as The Trip Where I Finally Got Up The Nerve To Bring My 5DMKII. I had been dancing around bringing my main camera to Detroit given the potential for theft, the potential for loss during inevitable partying, having to lug the heavy kit all over the city, etc. I scheduled all the gear I would be bringing on my insurance, and I’m incredibly glad I did. I got some of my favorite photographs of Detroit on this trip and it was just generally good having the system I was most familiar with in such a challenging place to shoot.

The final shot in the set (Scrappers Ruin) shows an area which used to be enclosed. I remember seeing it on one of my previous trips, though the shots are too dark to post. It was a giant room with a drop ceiling that came down a couple of stories. One of the stranger uses of space I ever came across.

Just as with the rest of the Packard and, indeed, the rest of Detroit armies of ingenious and brazen scrappers managed to eke out a living recycling materials from abandoned buildings. In this case, they cut the roof supports and then used a truck to yank them out from under the roof. The scale of the destruction they were able to cause with minimal equipment was truly impressive. It also speaks to how lawless Detroit was during the period I was visiting. You really could do anything you wanted and get away with it…and we did just that.