Vacant Not Blighted: Revitalizing Detroit
Video to Promote Preservation and Rehabilitation Across Detroit
The Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) launched a video on June 25c 2014 to advocate for rehabilitation and preservation as successful and critical tools to help revitalize Detroit.
The video features local commercial and residential property owners who partnered with MHPN to discuss their own experiences rehabbing and redeveloping buildings across Detroit and speaking to why these tools are so important to neighborhoods and the city.
The video includes interviews with Justin Mast and Jerry Esters from Practice Space as well as Sean Jackson from Rebirth Realty. Additional interviews include Amy Elliott Bragg from Preservation Detroit and Emilie Evans from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and MHPN.
“One of the things that’s really cool about rehab is it helps bring communities back,” says Sean Jackson, co-founder of Rebirth Realty and Virginia Park homeowner.
Jerry Esters, owner of multiple older buildings in Corktown, says, “Buildings that have been refurbished are much nicer than an empty field.” In response to demolition of older building stock, Esters adds, “I don’t see that as progress.”
A montage at the close of the video features an upbeat mix of property owners standing in front of their older buildings in differing stages of rehabilitation, including: a former auto service station that is now a business incubator; a historic Polish Legion being converted into a theater; a fire-ravaged apartment building coming back online; commercial and manufacturing centers finding new uses; a defunct firehouse becoming an exhibition space; an formerly-abandoned public high school; and a variety of homes.
Of the video, MHPN’s Executive Director, Nancy Finegood, said: “This video encourages viewers to see preservation and rehabilitation through the lens of buildings as assets and opportunities not just vacant liabilities.”
The video was sponsored by MHPN and produced by Mindfield Productions