The Ruin Garden: An Old Idea That Could Help Today’s Cities Fight Blight

In Gary, Indiana, a long-abandoned church will become one of the country’s first ruin gardens. It could be a model for other cities, too.

City Methodist Church, a grand, Gothic cathedral in Gary, Indiana, has been abandoned for almost 50 years. Yet you can see it all over the internet, on Flickr and Instagram, and in movies like Transformers 3. It’s billed as “one of the best known and most popular Midwest locations for urban explorers.” The church, which has been vacant since the 1970s as the steel industry bottomed out in Chicago and northern Indiana, has enjoyed an unlikely second life as a particularly beautiful, even sublime, decaying structure–what some call “ruin porn.”

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