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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Decay and hope in downtown Detroit

Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, but there are some optimists among the ruins

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Vehicles on the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Canada and Detroit, United States on March 21, 2013.

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The Michigan Central Station in Detroit on March 18, 2013. The station was closed down in 1988 and is considered a sign of the decay that continues to occur in Detroit.

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The Michigan Central Station in Detroit on July 24, 2013. The station was closed down in 1988 and is considered a sign of the decay that continues to occur in Detroit.

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The vacant historic Wayne County building is for sale in downtown Detroit on March 20, 2013.

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One of the many vacant or burned out houses in Detroit on July 24, 2013. Over years of decline, many homeowners have lost or abandoned their homes and they have been torn down if they become uninhabitable.

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A lone vacant graffiti covered house sits in an area that used to be filled with houses in Detroit's east end on March 20, 2013. Over years of decline, many homeowners have lost their homes and they have been torn down if they become uninhabitable.

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Abandoned and burnt out house in the Georgia Street neighbourhood in Detroit on July 23, 2013 .

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Mark Covington, founder of the Georgia Street Collective, has another house he bought to expand the centre on July 23, 2013 in Detroit. In February it was set on fire by a pair of arsonists and although he has had some help cutting the place, he is looking for help to rebuild it and make it useable.

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Mark Covington, founder of the Georgia Street Collective has another house he bought to expand the centre on July 23, 2013 in Detroit. In February it was set on fire by a pair of arsonists and although he has had some help cutting the place, he is looking for help to rebuild it and make it useable.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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A "Fight For Your Home" billboard in Detroit's on March 18, 2013. Over years of decline, many homeowners have lost their homes and they have been torn down if they become uninhabitable.

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Firefighters from Ladder 55 tend to a fire in a vacant house that also damaged the two homes beside it in Detroit on March 21, 2013.

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Downtown Detroit on March 20, 2013.

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Staff work on the Quicken Loans mortgage floor in one of the buildings purchased by Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans in downtown Detroit on March 20, 2013.

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The yard and street where Mark Covington who runs (and founded) the Georgia Street Community Collective in Detroit on March 19, 2013. Over years of decline, many homeowners have lost or abandoned their homes and they have been torn down if they become uninhabitable. Covington has purchased or is in the process of purchasing houses and vacant plots of land to use for the collective including using it for urban farming.

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Devin Foote, farm operations manager with Detroit Market Garden with Greening Detroit harvests spinach in the Greening Detroit greenhouses in Detroit on March 20, 2013.

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Devin Foote, Farm operations manager with Detroit Market Garden, Greening Detroit harvests various varieties of tomatoes from the Greening Detroit greenhouses in Detroit on July 24, 2013.

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Ben Jewell, Urban Agriculture Transition Team with the Detroit Market Garden with Greening Detroit harvests spinach at the Greening Detroit greenhouses in Detroit on March 20, 2013.

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Don Kinkead, principal at Hamilton Anderson, helped prepare the Detroit Future City plan proposal, a fifty year plan to put Detroit back on its feet, is photographed in Detroit, March 20, 2013.

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The City of Detroit and Wayne County building in downtown Detroit on March 20, 2013.

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Customers fill the very popular Slows BBQ restaurant in downtown Detroit on July 23, 2013 on a Tuesday evening. On this evening there was an hour wait for a table.

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Benita Pickens, a 10 year Water Systems Mechanic with the Detroit Water and Sewage Works at work in downtown Detroit on July 23, 2013.

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Apprentice Deon Jones, 21, harvest tomatoes for sale from the Greening Detroit greenhouses in Detroit on July 24, 2013.

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Brothers Gerald Lewis Jr. 4, and Don Servant, 9 work on the computer at the Georgia Street Community Collective, community centre on July 23, 2013 in Detroit.

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Mark Covington, founder of the Georgia Street Collective neighbourhood on July 23, 2013 in Detroit.

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Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director of the Heidelberg Project started when he began painting abandoned houses and utilizing vacant lots for his art, in the East end of Detroit photographed on July 24, 2013.

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Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director of the Heidelberg Project started when he began painting abandoned houses and utilizing vacant lots for his art, in the East end of Detroit photographed on July 24, 2013.

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Detroit resident Angela Duncan, looks at the work of art of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit's East end on July 24, 2013. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director of the Heidelberg Project, began painting abandoned houses and utilizing vacant lots for his art, in the East end of Detroit, the neighbourhood he lived in.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Tourists looks at the work of art of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit's East end on July 24, 2013. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director of the Heidelberg Project, began painting abandoned houses and utilizing vacant lots for his art, in the East end of Detroit, the neighbourhood he lived in.

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(brown shirt pointing) David Sheridan, Professor of Humanities at Michigan State University, tours the downtown core with his student Detroit on July 24, 2013.

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Detroit resident Angela Duncan, looks at the work of art of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit's East end on July 24, 2013. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director of the Heidelberg Project, began painting abandoned houses and utilizing vacant lots for his art, in the East end of Detroit, the neighbourhood he lived in.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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The Point of Origin marker is located in the center of Campus Martinus park at the intersection of Woodward Ave. and Monroe St, is photographed in Detroit on July 24, 2013. After the fire of 1805, Judge Augustus B. Woodward was appointed to lay out a new plan for the streets, squares and lots of Detroit. It is from here at Judge Woodward's survey point in the center of Campus Martius that the city of Detroit's street system originated. This spot is Detroit's point of origin.

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Hundreds of people, many of them employees that work in the various businesses in the downtown core of Detroit enjoy the open air tables, music, snack shack and even a beach area in the Campus Martinus Park on July 24, 2013.

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The Spirit of Detroit is a city monument that sits outside the Detroit Municipal Building in downtown Detroit on July 24, 2013.

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Haaris Ahmad, an Attorney with the Wayne County Corporation Council is among many people, a great deal of them employees that work in the various businesses in the downtown core of Detroit enjoy the open air tables, music, snack shack and even a beach area in the Campus Martinus Park on July 24, 2013.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Hundreds of people, many of them employees that work in the various businesses in the downtown core of Detroit enjoy the open air tables, music, snack shack and even a beach area in the Campus Martinus Park on July 24, 2013.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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The monument dedicated to Joe Louis, known also as "The Fist" in downtown Detroit on July 24, 2013.

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