Photo tour: Abandoned Brewster projects like a mini-city of decaying red bricks

The storied, abandoned Brewster projects, which once offered¬†apartments to low-income Detroiters, including the families of Motown legends Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, is an ugly symbol of the city’s struggles.

Rows of burned out townhouses and high-rise apartments are decaying, windowless and tagged with graffiti. Broken furniture, garbage and dead trees are strewn across the 30-acre ruins near downtown.

The nation’s first federal funded housing project for black people looms over 1-75 near downtown and historic Brush park.

Mayor Dave Bing announced Tuesday that the apartments will be demolished with federal funds.

Click on the first photo to begin a photo tour.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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  • tuna

    I’m from a smaller town so please excuse my not understanding… These buildings don’t really look THAT bad in the pictures, why are they all abandoned? (other than if they are not structurally sound). I mean a little elbow grease and sweeping, if you can afford it, get the electric and water turned on.

    • Sorien

      They are about 60 years old and not built to modern safety standards. At least that is how I understand it.