In the late 19 century, Detroit had its own industrial revolution. Strategically located along the Great Lakes waterway, Detroit emerged as a transportation hub. In 1896, a thriving carriage trade prompted Henry Ford to build his first automobile in a rented workshop on Mack Avenue.
In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and in 1913, Ford implemented a large-scale assembly line to manufacture the Model T automobile at his Highland Park plant.
Detroit was even referred to as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison.Ford's manufacturing—and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge brothers, Packard, and Walter Chrysler—reinforced Detroit's status as the world's automotive capital.
For the first time in history, the large number of people were able to dramatically grow rich. Monumental skyscrapers and eye-catching neighborhoods showed the wealth of the city. Detroit became a representative of the American dream.
Thousands of people come here in search of work. And by the 1950’s the city's population had reached nearly 2 million people. Detroit ranked fourth among the largest cities in the U.S..
In the beginning of the 1950’s, the factories started to be moved to the periphery of Detroit. The middle class started to leave downtown and move to the suburbs. Industrialization began to decline, the segregation of the population became more pronounced. In 1967, social tensions resulted in the strongest urban riot in American history. People began to leave the city en masse, leaving the whole city districts empty. Old buildings in downtown were deserted, and within 50 years, Detroit has lost more half of its population.
Being the industrial capital of the twentieth century, Detroit has played a fundamental role in shaping the modern world, and now has become a real ghost town. Ruins are a natural part of the urban landscape.