I was struck by this sad but interesting photo gallery of abandoned buildings in Detroit. Is this the dark underside of creative destruction, the neglected shadows of shiny buildings in Austin or Palo Alto or Singapore or Seoul or Mumbai or somewhere else? Maybe Detroit will rise again like a phoenix (now that so many buildings are empty in Phoenix, AZ). I don’t know.
The photo that really pulled at my heartstrings, though, was the picture below of an abandoned library. Apparently the city was so mismanaged that they couldn’t even find a home for the books. Perhaps there are plans to re-open one day? Let’s hope. It is a painful image to those who love books and who love libraries.
Maybe I’m wrong, but this picture looks a lot more like government failure than creative destruction. Would an art gallery going out of business leave all of its paintings on the walls? Would a grocery store that shuts down leave all of its food stores on the shelves? Would a hospital leave patients lying in the beds (OK, a little extreme, but you get my idea).
To someone who would rather spend a week in a nice library than at an amusement park, it is a sad image indeed.
HT: Marginal Revolution