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Detroit Bankruptcy Draws Visitors to the City’s Ruins: LA Times

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Detroit Bankruptcy Draws Visitors to the City’s Ruins: LA Times

Detroit’s unprecedented bankruptcy has shined the spotlight on the city’s Roman-like ruins, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. While Detroiters might be tired of hearing about the fall of their once-mighty Motor City, tourists have used the landmark bankruptcy case to explore Detroit’s abandoned buildings and run-down architecture.

“Since the city declared bankruptcy in July, hotels say they’ve seen an uptick in visitors inquiring about the ruins,” writes Alana Semuels of the Los Angeles Times. “So have restaurants in the up-and-coming district of Corktown, near the abandoned train station.”

Tourists in the thousands are flocking Detroit to see some of the tens of thousands of abandoned buildings the city’s skyline has on display. Photographers have described the city as an “amusement park,” while others have described the ruins as a gateway to understanding the plight of the Motor City.

“If someone wants to understand the bankruptcy, seeing Detroit with their own two eyes would help them grasp what’s going on there,” said a Chicago resident featured in the LA Times report.

Detroit became the biggest municipality in US history to file for Chapter 9 protection. Federal Judge Steven Rhodes declared the city insolvent earlier this month after several weeks of deliberation. Rhodes’ decision ended speculation about the legality of the city’s bankruptcy petition, which was being challenged by creditors. By granting Detroit bankruptcy protection, creditors are limited in the legal measures they can take to resolve the city’s outstanding debts, which are estimated to be around $18 billion.

It could take decades for the city to completely recover from its financial and economic collapse. Several decades of slow decline in population and manufacturing has made Detroit one of the poorest cities in America. The city’s unemployment rate has tripled since 2000.

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