Nestled just off I-94 on Detroit’s east side, this condemned house simply refuses to crumble, despite being abandoned and ravaged by fire. The structure at 5930 Nottingham sits swaddled in knee-high grass and overgrown trees, though, aside from one other abandoned house, the block is quaint, with well-maintained homes. It seems the area is prone to softer types of crime; assault, burglary, and car theft were the most prominent deviltry to turn up in research conducted by ASS (that’s Abandoned Structure Squad, fool).
Straggly foliage shrouds the remains of the home’s front porch, and also prohibits admission to the back yard, which is girdled with cyclone fencing. Entry is impossible, even from the driveway, without a weed whacker or a machete. Aside from downed tree limbs and weeds, the driveway is occupied by a mound of melted shingles and discarded electronics. So if having a driveway in which to park your car is a must, keep looking. There’s a small shed still standing in the yard. However, like the main house, it appears to have been frequented by vagrants.
Entering the house is an adventure in itself. The steps leading to the front door, littered with moldy phone books and coupon rags, are cracked and crumbling, making the traversal a dangerous one. You might want to try your luck with the side door. While you won’t need to climb, you will need to find a way through the thicket of tree branches that obstructs the entrance.
Relaxing with friends or family on the front porch may prove difficult, since it has completely collapsed. However, it would make a choice spot for children playing hide-and-seek. The surrounding shrubbery would obscure them from any advancing threats or stalking seekers. Of course, injury is highly likely.
If post-apocalyptic decor is what you’re looking for, the scorched furniture in the first-floor living area really ties the room together. This space is also adorned with an ostentatious chandelier, made from a woman’s discarded weave. In the spring and summer months, the absence of windows allows for a wonderful breeze and turns any meal into an al fresco dining experience.
The kitchen upstairs, still full of dishware, suggests this house was at one time divided into two flats. As evidenced by the budding basil, the kitchen counter on the first floor is a wonderful place to grow your own herbs.
The crown molding is just one example of the high level of craftsmanship that went into building these homes. It’s sad to see beautiful Tudor-style houses like this fall into dilapidation, but it happens with chilling frequency.
With everything that’s structurally wrong with this place, the stairs are shockingly stable. If you don’t fall through the rotting floorboards, you’ll be able to ascend (or descend) the stairs with the greatest of ease. Have you always dreamed of your own indoor pool? Look no further, because the basement floods whenever it rains. (Imagine the wintertime potential for indoor skating!)
Erratum: An earlier version of this story listed the address as 5800 Nottingham.