hello? is anybody home?


i find these photographs incredibly beautiful and kind of melancholy, but yet so inspiring. how i’d love to fix one of these gorgeous old homes up, returning it to the grandeur it long ago knew. the 100 abandoned houses project began innocently enough roughly ten years ago when Kevin Bauman began photographing abandonment in Detroit in the mid 90’s as a creative outlet, and as a way of satisfying his curiosity with the state of his home town.


kevin had always found it to be amazing, depressing, and perplexing that a once great city could find itself in such great distress, all the while surrounded by such affluence. the number of abandoned houses in Detroit reaches somewhere around 12,000.


Since there has been a lot of interest in purchasing prints from the 100 abandoned houses series,  photographer kevin bauman has decided to do a limited edition series of small prints available at reasonable price. i think they’d look fantastic as a grouping. and, a portion of the proceeds will go to an organization doing positive work in Detroit (preferably), or in other cities around the country, like Habitat for Humanity, and The Greening of Detroit.





54 Responses to “hello? is anybody home?”
  1. pink says:

    Beautiful in a disturbing and sad way. Memorable, to say the least.

  2. erin says:

    such an inspiring collection. i love these shots.

  3. What’s amazing to me about these (beautiful) photos is how much land there is around the houses. This is Detroit, afterall – a major US city – not the rural countryside.

  4. wow, hauntingly beautiful

  5. Tara says:

    Wow. These are incredible…I agree that old, abandoned homes make me melancholy. It is sad when a home isn’t loved anymore.

  6. geeta says:

    A great post…what a crime that this has to happen. These houses are still so full of grandeur, despite being abondoned and dilapidated

  7. Thanks for sharing. Arguably one of the most effected areas by the recession; it’s good to see some of the proceeds will go back into the city.

  8. liane says:

    yep. i’ve been looking at these. perhaps it should make me sad but it’s too visually inspiring for me for that.

  9. I love abandoned homes…It always makes me wonder “If these walls could talk.”

  10. Allyson says:

    I saw this before and it hits me so hard every time. Being from Michigan it makes me so sad that the biggest city in my home state will probably be completely abandoned in my lifetime.

  11. amandajayne says:

    thanks for sharing such greay photos. my boy has an obsession with such houses it is such ongoing conversation about getting such a house and breathing new life into it. Officially in our world as the ‘ideal fixer upper’ said with an Australian Accent.

  12. Lily says:

    These are so sad, but very beautiful. I had no idea there were so many abandoned houses like this.

  13. Oh I’ve always loved this project and am glad it’s been getting a good bit of attention lately. I think a lot of these houses are in Brush Park, which is a neighborhood with so many old beautiful homes that now stand empty.

    Have you seen the Detroit Ice House project? http://icehousedetroit.blogspot.com/

    It’s very cool.

  14. Oh and another cool thing that Detroit artists have done with houses in the city is the Heidelberg Project.

  15. Lili says:

    I’ve always been drawn to and a bit creeped out by abandoned houses. Photographs of them are always so beautiful though, so I’ll settle for looking at those instead of finding one to explore for myself.

    If you haven’t seen Rob Dobi’s works before, you should check him out http://www.flickr.com/photos/robdobi I knew of him years ago and he has a huge collection of photographs from abandoned institutions and schools around Connecticut (I believe).

  16. victoria says:

    wow, i’m so pleased you found these as moving as i did. thank you for the generous response, and for checking out kevin’s project.

  17. Mandi says:

    Wow, I agree: hauntingly beautiful.

  18. pam says:

    very very sad, but they are beautiful images. i’m gonna pop over to see about the project. the photos would be beautiful in a grouping. pam

  19. amma says:

    Stunning. Makes me long to complete my dream of driving across Wisconsin to photograph the old ruins of barns as a symbol of our seeming lost agricultural heritage. Thanks for sharing this inspiring work.

  20. Ron says:

    What a beautiful collection of photos and a great project. I just bought # 83 (blue house in the snow). I love the colors!

  21. Brigitte says:

    There is nothing as inspiring as an artist who is able to work for social change in a natural and authentic way. This work hits that right on the head. Thank you for sharing this today.

  22. Debra says:

    These images are just as profound as war shots and it’s right here in our own country. It’s a shame that people live out on the streets while beautiful old homes decay away due to corporate greed and mistakes.

  23. Courtney says:

    These are certainly haunting images! It makes me so sad that our society is so development hungry – clearing and cutting into natural lands to build cookie cutter homes when there are so many beautiful existing structures just waiting for a fix-up.

  24. Vivianna says:

    these photos are so beautiful!

  25. Jessica says:

    I’ve seen this project before, and it resounds with some chord deep inside of me. I love old buildings, and the decay can be sad and intriguing both. I think Kevin does a fabulous job of capturing these houses in a documentary fashion…while no one lives inside, these houses still live on as art.

  26. mori says:

    it is truly amazing what shocks me the most is why were these houses abandoned in the first place? i mean who just ups and leaves a house what made it happen this is what is so disturbing to me really incredibly shocking. they all look victorian which happen to be some of my favorite kind of homes. i would also like to know who owns the property surrounding these homes, i mean could the property and the houses be taken by just anyone i would really like to know. so, so, sad it really makes me want to know about the people who once lived.

  27. CrowNology says:

    My heart and stomach ached as I scrolled through these. Oh for millions of dollars…The pure character of these places…The land…Beautiful.

  28. cristina says:

    As a Michigan native myself, as well as supporter of Detroit and past volunteer and worker in the city, these pictures haunt me. Yes, the beauty of decomposition in these photographs is great. The potential in these once beautiful homes is also, from a design perspective, immense. However, what is most troubling, is the social and economic devastation that has decayed so much of the city. Long before (and unfortunately, probably long after the Recession) the homelessness, the joblessness has plagued Detroit residents.
    I must say though, that parts of Detroit are vibrant. I think that there is enough support, love and perseverance for the city that will continue to keep it alive, and perhaps revive it, in the years to come.

  29. I agree…these photos are great! I’ve got a friend who does similar photography but with abandoned buildings mostly in North Dakota and Minnesota. All these homes and building are ominous yet somehow beautiful.

    Here’s a link to a post about my friend John’s work:

  30. victoria says:

    thank you everyone, for such heartfelt commentary, and the wonderful links! the more people that know about this plight, the more action can be taken.

  31. Vanya says:

    it breaks my heart to see these wonderful houses left to crumble, esp no. 1; I find it hard to even look at them its so sad. Probably as I want my own house SO desperately and would give me right arm for one of these beauties to be mine!

  32. h.b says:

    I read a blog called sweet juniper (http://www.sweet-juniper.com) about a guy who used to be a lawyer in san francisco who moved with his family to downtown Detroit where he is now an at home dad. he calls photos like this “ruin porn” but takes a fair bit of his own, usually to illustrate something he’s writing about that amazing city (he makes me want to move there!). he has a photography portfolio here (look at the series called “lost neighborhoods” and “little houses”):


  33. Linda says:

    Okay the last one is absolutely stunning! It is eerie but very beautiful all at the same time. What a wonderful outlet he used.

  34. malka says:

    Those house were amazing and gorgeous in the own right.

  35. samantha says:


    i live in detroit and these houses are not foreign or strange to me. it’s just the city. and it’s hard but it’s not always bad, there’s a lot of things happening here that couldn’t/wouldn’t happen anywhere else. and i cherish that. including; my boyfriend and three best friends opened a one screen independent movie theatre inside of an abandoned elementary school (called the burton theatre, after the schools former name) it was recently in the new york times in a story about the things that can come from recession. and no one one knows better than detroit-natives, since, it’s been down long before this hit of economic downfall. detroit, although harsh, is probably my favorite city. everyone is trying to help each other and make a better place from very-very little. i’ve never known so many people trying to give their all to the place they live.


  36. victoria says:

    thanks for sharing that samantha. very uplifting, and you’re right, every city has got it’s rich and unique culture. bravo.

  37. amy says:

    looking at these images tonight, i’m seeing them more as faces than structures. the colors and compositions make it easy to personify these houses to the point that i can almost hear the voices of past inhabitants bouncing off the wood and brick. oh the stories they hold!
    really beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  38. victoria says:

    cool, amy. nice perspective. :)

  39. LISA MADIGAN says:

    I love these – I feel very much the same – would love to get in there and restore one to its former glory – sad – striking – really beautiful.

  40. Sarah Eaton says:

    I would love to be active in some type of program to make some of these homes again. Still looking. Seattle, WA

  41. Funny. Some houses are vary intypical for Russia.

  42. jenny says:

    so heartbreaking.

  43. Susannah says:

    bloody hell, these are fantastic!!

  44. Spine tingling images and full of such mystery! an absolutely beautiful collection of images.

  45. Lee Lauren says:

    These homes are all beautiful and I agree with you to fix them up would be fabulous! I live very near Dayton Ohio and we see alot of the same thing inside a city with a 20% vacancy rate most homes of which are beautiful homes built during the industrial revolution. Makes me kind of sad!

  46. karen says:

    I also read Sweet Juniper, his piece about the neighborhood hardware store is one of his best. The abandoned book project is another knockout commentary on the sadness of what is happening here in our country. If you have been moved by these pictures you will be awed by Sweet Juniper’s work. Very beautiful and haunting photos by both of these photographers.

  47. amanda says:

    karen, did you see Sweet Juniper’s house on Design*Sponge?


  48. mhz says:

    Kevin Bauman have a beautiful collection! Great photos.

    If you like abanonded views, maybe you will like my collection of abandoned Saint-Petersburg houses

  49. umanbn says:

    yes they’re definitely beautiful, sad and intriguing at the same time, with lots of memories hidden away in them

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  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Facebook by green couch design: Ok so I just found this blog and I love it! Here is another little bit of eye candy at least if your in to old buildings and the beauty of decomposition. Enjoy!http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2010/0

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Victoria Smith, Victoria Smith, Max, kimberlyhobart, seesaw designs and others. seesaw designs said: eerie beauty RT @sfgirlbybay hello? is anybody home? http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2010/02/09/hello-is-anybody-home/ […]

  3. […] Matt loves the old houses. […]

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