Lee Plaza Hotel, 2011. Philip Jarmain
Photographer Philip Jarmain captures the rapid destruction of Detroit’s early Twentieth-century architecture in his latest show at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco. In this project, American Beauty, Jarmain captures these images using a large format camera. “These are the last large format architectural photographs for many of these structures,” says Jarmain.
Detroit has had an unprecedented impact on the industrial age and the modern world, and was even once called “The Paris of the Midwest.” In 2009, the US recession hit Detroit like a second Great Depression. The population dropped, unemployment rates rocketed. The majority of these pre-Depression era buildings are being destroyed at an exponential rate as they lie victim to scrappers and vandals. Despite these events Detroit—Motown—remains a cultural powerhouse.