Saturday, June 4, 2011

Detroit plans to demolish 70,000 houses.

That's right -- 70,000.

"I can do twenty a day," says Lorenzo, standing outside a Craftsman-style bungalow at 18058 Joann. This house took the better part of 1926 to build. Crews of men dug a hole, poured a foundation, assembled floor bridging and ceiling joists and a truss for the roof. Shingles were laid down, one at a time. Wooden siding was hung. Mortar was spread and bricks were stacked. By the time the house was completed, it boasted a gable roof, central dormer windows, and generous eaves shading a balustraded veranda. Covering 1,300 square feet, it had a couple of bedrooms, a bathroom, a small kitchen, and a light-filled parlor facing the street. It was priced for a worker—less than $4,000 new—and meant, for a family, a future.

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