Parade, Detroit. March, 2009
Photo © Brian Widdis.
The 50th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolled through Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood Sunday afternoon, March 15, 2009. Following the parade, two area high school marching bands, including Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Marching Band (pictured) squared off for a marching band battle in front of Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station. The train station has been vacant since 1988 and stands as a powerful symbol of Detroit’s problems. In 2004, a proposal to refurbish the station and move the Detroit Police Department headquarters there was announced, however the plans were canceled in 2005. In early April, 2009, Detroit City Council voted to expedite demolition of the building.
This image is from a collaborative project between Widdis and photographer Romain Blanquart called “Can’t Forget The Motor City.” Widdis and Blanquart are Detroit photographers who contacted us after reading a PDNPulse post about the abundance of photo projects showing run-down spaces in Detroit. “Our goal is to show Detroit as a whole—to tell the story of the city and its people,” they wrote. “We believe that beyond the easy and exotic snapshots of crumbling buildings lays the real story of the Motor City.” Widdis shoots in black-and-white and Blanquart shoots in color.