It's 2021 and there's a new documentary on abandoned buildings in Detroit

February 11, 2021, 11:07 AM by  Violet Ikonomova

If you thought videos of abandoned buildings in Detroit were tired, Bob the urban explorer disagrees.

The thrill-seeker and history buff is the subject of an hour-long documentary that's said to represent a 13-year exploration of the city's iconic and idling structures, many of which have since been restored or demolished. 

"Detroit: The City of Neglect" follows him into past and present icons, including the Grande Ballroom, the Book Tower, Michigan Central Station, Herman Kiefer hospital, the former Cass Technical High School and even the Cantrell Funeral Home — where the unattended remains of dozens of bodies were found several years ago. But it acknowledges its role as a time capsule amid Detroit's comeback, with Cass Tech torn down, and Herman Kiefer, the train station, and Book Tower undergoing renovation after being purchased by corporations and developers.

Bob, also known as Detroit Unseen, says he became interested in the city's abandoned buildings after entering them to shoot heroin more than 15 years ago. He says he's since kicked the drug and devoted himself to urban exploring, visiting sites across the country.

"'Detroit: The City of Neglect' is a documentary that is rare, unique, and never been done before," says a description with the one-hour video, which premiered on YouTube last month. "Sure, there have been many documentaries and movies about the City of Detroit, but none are more comprehensive and extensive as this project."

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