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Finding “Lost Detroit” Among the Ruins - The Detroit Blog -

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Finding "Lost Detroit" Among the Ruins Posted by KAREN DYBIS

The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

4 Comments • Related Topics: Art and artists, Author, crime, Detroit, Michigan

“Every building in Detroit has a story.” And, thankfully, Dan Austin and Sean Doerr are the storytellers. Austin, 29, is the main wordsmith. Doerr, 20, is the photographer. Together, their not-for-profit “Buildings of Detroit” web site gives life to edifices otherwise left for dead. It is required reading if you've ever taken a ride on the People Mover and wondered,” What's that building?” or “Why is something so breathtaking left to virtually rot?” (More on See pictures of the remains of Detroit) Austin and Doerr also are the authors of newly released “Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins.” This amazing book tells the tales of 12 of Detroit's most stately structures “from the day they opened to the day they closed,” Austin writes. Highlights include Michigan Central Station, Vanity Ballroom, Cass Tech High School and more. On Twitter: TheDetroitHouse TheDetroitHouse After a year of learning, observing and understanding, TIME says goodbye to Detroit. Podcast: All Good Things... - 6 months ago TheDetroitHouse Our Donation to Detroit 6 months ago TheDetroitHouse Read Kristy Erdodi's "How Detroit Became My Sexy City" - 6 months ago Follow TheDetroitHouse on Twitter

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Sean Doerr A self-professed history nerd, Austin accepted my challenge of chatting about the book, the view from his front porch (think giant, dilapidated train station) and his challenge to the billionaires who own these “ruins” all while patiently waiting for a 426-pound pallet of books to show up Tuesday. Thankfully, the books showed up – just in time for the Thursday release party at City Bird. (Austin also will be on WDET's Craig Fahle show today around 11 a.m. Tune in.) (More on See why City Bird was opened in Detroit) Read on, bibliophiles.

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Some background from the BoD site: “ is a two-person effort by historian, author and photographer Dan Austin and photographer Sean Doerr to spread awareness of Detroit's architectural history. The site has existed at the present domain since May 2006 but dates back to about 2004. By documenting buildings - both past and present day - we hope to raise awareness about preservation of our history and our landmarks, as well as bring attention to the threats to our city's architectural heritage, such as looting, vandalism, and demolition by neglect.” Also, Austin works at The Detroit Free Press. Doerr is a student at the College for Creative Studies.

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