February 9, 2013

Building Facade, Detroit

Photograph by Amy Sacka, My Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: Your Photos

My earliest memories of Detroit are of the doors locking when we drove into town. I live here now, and I am trying to unlock things.

(This photo and caption were submitted to My Shot.)

What Makes This a Photo of the Day? When I first looked at this, I thought the perfectly framed buildings in the background were reflections. Then I realized that what I thought was an intact structure is actually a facade. It’s hard to tell whether it’s a remnant of better days or a sign of new beginnings, but either way it speaks to the idea of a city at a crossroads. —Alexa Keefe, Photo of the Day editor


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18 comments
orange Doctor
orange Doctor

My earliest memories of Detroit are of the doors locking when we drove into town. I live here now, and I am trying to unlock things".great photo and comment

SamanthaLyn Samuelson
SamanthaLyn Samuelson

Hi Amy! And Others,too.  I have loved reading here in comments and in the caption about your image, your work and what lead you to return to Detroit.  There is such a beauty presented here with the bricks creating more than a structure.  The art work of brick masons amaze me, especially in the older structures.  Check out those lines and squares yielding to the curves above the first level windows.  Once those windows were looked out of for the view outside...and now we look though them for another awesome view.  Congratulations for your image making Photo of The Day...and for your commentary that I have loved reading.  I will check out your Owen Was Here images!  And, one more thing, a big" Yeah!" for National Geographic for supporting us, photographers, and fans of photography and our work in this venue...I love N.G.  Please see my image "Photo of The Day" on February 6th, 2013, Moonrise, Colorado.  So happy to have comments, also.  

Keith Kolodsick
Keith Kolodsick

Great shot Amy.  I am a life-long Detroit supporter.  I have always lived in the suburbs, but worked downtown for 25 years. I love to resurgence of downtown and support the city through my volunteer activities [Habitat, Free Press Marathon, Motown Winter Blast, and others].

Great city, you just have to look a little harder.


Alyssa Avila
Alyssa Avila

Hey Amy, I'm greatly fond of your picture, it was beautifully shot. I love hoe you have showed part of the beauty in Detroit even though it is a fairly rough city. Detroit is my hometown as well, so seeing that people are trying to show some of its  true nature only excites me that much more. Downtown Detroit may not be a great place for anyone, but I assure you the magnificent buildings, abandoned or not, have a particular aesthetic that can't be found in many other places, but Detroit. 

Dianne Sacka
Dianne Sacka

Great photo!  What an accomplishment for you that one of your photos has been chosen a second time as Photo of the Day by National Geographic!  Your photos are so inspiring.  Your 365 Days Detroit Photo Project on Facebook @ Owen Was Here has brought new interest to a  city that deserves a second look!  

Amy Sacka
Amy Sacka

Thank you, National Geographic, for posting my picture! It's just one in a year-long series I'm doing on my move back to my hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Follow along on Facebook @Owen Was Here

Bill Gawne
Bill Gawne

Looks like the remains of the old Michigan Central rail station, with the Penobscot building framed in the distance.

Amy Sacka
Amy Sacka

@SamanthaLyn Samuelson S. Thank you so much for your comments. Really appreciate it. I have since learned from friend on Owen was Here that the facade is remaining for some sort of tax purposes that will benefit the owner in the re-building of the structure. Those details confuse me, but it's the backstory that makes a lot of this so important to me. The idea of "Facades" and what our impressions are of a city from the media... vs. living there... what my impressions were growing up in the all-white neighborhood next to Detroit and being told to fear it vs. being a resident and getting to know the vibrant stories, people and culture that make it a wonderfully welcoming and friendly city. Even people live behind "fascades"... I want to find out more.... what's really going on behind it... as in this photo... LOOK... there's a city WITH PEOPLE behind the "images of despair and decay." Thanks for your kind message.

Amy Sacka
Amy Sacka

@Keith Kolodsick I love it. Thanks so much for following along on Owen Was Here. I'd love to hear your thoughts as I post new photos and welcome any suggestions. One of the great things about my project is the way the community has come together around it... people have  a place where they can talk about their memories and follow along with me as I discover new things about the city. It's opened my world to so many surprises.... the musicality of the city, the poetry of the African American culture, the beauty of resilience. Many times in my mere 125 days here, I've been stunned at culture underneath... there is so much people don't see. And I've been here for such a short time. Often times I'm amazed by what I've missed for so many years.

Amy Sacka
Amy Sacka

@Alyssa Avila  Thanks so much for your comment. I moved myself back to Detroit from Seattle in September because I care a great deal about the city. After years of worldwide travel, I wanted to explore the ideas of home... what does it mean... how do we create roots in an increasingly mobile society, would I personally feel more connected if I lived closer to family. I also wanted to see what was going on in Detroit for myself... and I've discovered that there's a lot more than the write-off that the city has sadly been given. What a vibrant culture, made up of people who care in a strong way about the fate of the city. I can't believe what my Owen Was Here photo project has yielded. The community on Facebook has been incredible... people contributing their Detroit stories, sharing memories, offering me suggestions of what to see and who to meet. This is an amazing city. I'm proud to be a resident.

SamanthaLyn Samuelson
SamanthaLyn Samuelson

@Amy Sacka @SamanthaLyn Samuelson S. You make some great points about People living there!  And people being friendly!!  Cities are more then the buildings we use...but the buildings give us history, something to look at, art, architecture and in a way a "back drop" and contrast to nature itself!  You are so welcome!

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