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Ghost Towns

Do you know what that building is? I would have guessed some sort of civic center in a town near Chernobyl. Nope. It’s the abandoned Michigan Central Station in Detroit, which fell out of use in 1988, after years of dramatically declining passenger train use. That image is part of a haunting Atlantic slideshow of abandoned places around the world. When I lived in Philadelphia, I used to take the train sometimes from my house in a far-flung part of the city. The route took us through blighted areas of North Philadelphia, which look like they were bombed out. These were once neighborhoods that boomed with life emerging from manufacturing. When that collapsed, so did the neighborhoods. It’s hard to overstate how eerie the view from the train is. It’s like a sci-fi landscape, or something. Here’s a 1995 report from Nightline about the so-called “Badlands” of north Philly.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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