Showcase Cinemas

2150 North Opdyke Road, Auburn Hills, Michigan

Photo taken in 2011, theatre vacant since 2002.

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OPDYKE ROAD


Opdyke Road is a thoroughfare in Michigan connecting several metropolitan Detroit suburbs. At its southernmost end is Bloomfield Hills, the highest per-capita income city of Michigan and one of the top five highest in the United States. Surrounding the city is Bloomfield Township, a suburb with a similarly high cost of living and per-capita income. Yet the effect of an economy largely predicated on the declining American automotive industry persists, throughout Detroit and in the suburban homes of its commuters.


This series, taken between 2011-2015, captures a small number of those impacted businesses along Opdyke Road. These nondescript suburban spaces supplement the more popular and often glorified images of buildings in Detroit, long fallen from their original splendor.

(2015)

Shell Gas Station

205 North Opdyke Road, Pontiac, Michigan

Photo taken in 2010. Still vacant as of 2014.

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Auburn Collision Shop (Open)

500 South Opdyke Road, Pontiac, Michigan

GM's bankruptcy forced many dealerships to close. This business stayed open, and became a collision shop to maintain revenue.

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A small example of this decline is the vacated commercial lots dotting either side of Opdyke Road. Notable amongst these was the closure of a 3 million square foot GM truck assembly plant on the Bloomfield Township/Pontiac border, a casualty of the corporation's bankruptcy in 2009. At its peak, this plant was one of GM's most profitable according to former employees who were interviewed by The Oakland Press for an article it published in 2012.

Pontiac Assembly Center

2100 South Opdyke Road, Pontiac, Michigan

Pontiac Assembly Center was a pickup truck production plant operated by General Motors. Photo taken in 2010, plant demolished in 2011.

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LTM Quick Lube

915 S Opdyke Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Independently owned oil change and vehicle inspection company. Their ability to service oversized trucks is boasted by the vintage pickup in the foreground. Photo taken in 2011.

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Also significant was the 2008 auction sale of the Pontiac Silverdome, one of the largest stadiums of the NFL. Unable to solicit redevelopment plans or secure a permanent tenant, the new owners auctioned the stadium's contents in 2014. No future development plans have been announced.

Pontiac Silverdome - North Entrance

1200 Featherstone Rd, Pontiac, MI 48342

Former home of the Detroit Lions. Capacity listed at 80,311. Photo taken in 2015.

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Fiero Lanes

645 South Opdyke Road, Auburn Hills, Michigan

Fiero Lanes was a bowling alley built in 1963, closed in 2011, demolished 2014. Photo taken in 2010.

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(Formerly) Walmart

300 N Opdyke Road, Auburn Hills, Michigan

Photo taken in 2010 while vacant. Purchased in 2014 by residential and commercial plumbing parts company.

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Incarnate Word Church

No address listed

Latitude: 42.6114223, Longitude: -83.247156

Former elementary school, now multi-use space occasionally used as a church. Photo taken in 2015.

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