A $500 House in Detroit

A $500 House in Detroit

Rebuilding An Abandoned Home and An American City

eBook - 2017
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A young college grad buys a house in Detroit for $500 and attempts to restore it—and his new neighborhood—to its original glory in this "deeply felt, sharply observed personal quest to create meaning and community out of the fallen...A standout" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).Drew Philp, an idealistic college student from a working-class Michigan family, decides to live where he can make a difference. He sets his sights on Detroit, the failed metropolis of abandoned buildings, widespread poverty, and rampant crime. Arriving with no job, no friends, and no money, Philp buys a ramshackle house for five hundred dollars in the east side neighborhood known as Poletown. The roomy Queen Anne he now owns is little more than a clapboard shell on a crumbling brick foundation, missing windows, heat, water, electricity, and a functional roof. A $500 House in Detroit is Philp's raw and earnest account of rebuilding everything but the frame of his house, nail by nail and room by room. "Philp is a great storyteller...[and his] engrossing" (Booklist) tale is also of a young man finding his footing in the city, the country, and his own generation. We witness his concept of Detroit shift, expand, and evolve as his plan to save the city gives way to a life forged from political meaning, personal connection, and collective purpose. As he assimilates into the community of Detroiters around him, Philp guides readers through the city's vibrant history and engages in urgent conversations about gentrification, racial tensions, and class warfare. Part social history, part brash generational statement, part comeback story, A $500 House in Detroit "shines [in its depiction of] the 'radical neighborliness' of ordinary people in desperate circumstances" (Publishers Weekly). This is an unforgettable, intimate account of the tentative revival of an American city and a glimpse at a new way forward for generations to come.
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9781476798011
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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m
MplsTA
Aug 07, 2017

It should be easy to buy an abandoned home in Detroit- but it's not. The author (young- 23 yrs old) decides to buy and renovate a house in Detroit. He finds a home he loves that is long abandoned. It does not even have a house number. It's a process but he finally purchases the home, cleans it up and moves in.

I really enjoyed the author's description of the various Detroit neighborhoods. He paints a picture of dilapidated homes. Some so badly damaged that they need to be destroyed. Many have been vandalized and/or set on fire. But he is also hopeful about the future of Detroit with caring home owners moving in and doing just what he is doing.

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