Detroit, hollowed out

Cars have a horrible tendency to hollow out cities from the inside; so it’s not surprising that Detroit should suffer disproportionately. The author of an excellent article from this past Saturday’s WSJ  In One Home, a Mighty City’s Rise and Fall: Price of Typical Detroit House: $7,100,  pointing out, I’m sure with intentional irony:

“By then (the early 1940’s), the street had slipped a notch in desirability. Detroit’s well-to-do moved to more grandiose housing in Grosse Pointe and other suburbs, their commutes made possible by the very automobiles that had made them rich”

Then, a short-lived economic resurgence, built on the back of cheap gas:

“Starting in the 1990s, American car companies enjoyed a brief interlude of optimism brought on by low gasoline prices and a boom in sports-utility vehicles. Detroit, like the nation as a whole, got caught up in the housing bubble.”