“If you stand in Detroit and look at (the ruins),
they’re so impressive, and they beg a big question.
It really says ‘What went wrong?’ It’s
grist for artistic energy.”
What started as a way to chronicle Detroit’s
ruins — much like those of Athens and Rome —
has become a virtual community. More than 800 people
who are registered on Boileau’s online forums
discuss everything from the latest downtown development
plans to the state of Detroit’s schools to incidents
such as the June 23 shooting in Hart Plaza.
Boileau, who gets donations to keep
his site going and designs commercial Web sites for
paying clients, hopes it’s a uniting force.
“I’d really like it to be
something that would unify all of Metro Detroit —
the city, Windsor and the suburbs,” he says.
Such sites serve an important function,
says Jerry Herron, American studies professor at Wayne
State University and author of “AfterCulture:
Detroit and the Humiliation of History” (Wayne
State University Press).
“I think what Lowell and others
have done has shown people how to see (Detroit) in a
way that’s hopeful,” Herron says.
“He gets people to talk to each
other about what they see. ... People begin to belong
to this invisible city by virtue of conversation. It
makes real life in the real city more hopeful and fun.”
HERE FULL ARTICLE BY KARA MORRISON AND PHOTO BY BRIDGET
LLC Press Release of July 7, 2004: The Dedication
of the Darrell Banks Memorial Bench donated by members
of the SoulfulDetroit.com forum