DETROIT, Michigan – “Zombieland” blew up.
Detroit’s Park Avenue Hotel, built in 1924, was once a ritzy downtown hub. It didn’t stay that way for long. After stints as a senior housing complex and a rehab center, the building went the way of many of the city’s iconic buildings — abandoned and graffiti splattered. “Zombieland” was written in huge letters across the side.
Early Saturday, developers blew up the once glamorous hotel to clear the way for a sports and entertainment district featuring a brand-new Detroit Red Wings hockey stadium.
The implosion only took seconds.
The Park Avenue Hotel is only one of the many abandoned buildings in Detroit — many that have caught the interest of photographers, filmmakers and artists. This obsession with ruins, or blight to others, has often been labeled as “ruin porn.”
But not all Detroit’s ruins are going the way of the Park Avenue Hotel. The Michigan Central Station, an abandoned train station that served as the backdrop for “Transformers” and “8 Mile,” will get a new set of windows.
As Detroit climbs out of bankruptcy, the destruction or renewal of those abandoned buildings might be a symbol for the city’s future.