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Allen dis­covers the history of downtown Detroit through pho­tographing ads. | Flickr | Courtesy

When Robert C. Allen dis­covered the nar­ra­tives found in the ads lining anti­quated buildings of downtown Detroit, he decided to doc­ument his findings and compile them in a new book called “The Fading Ads of Detroit.” Monday, Allen will be sharing these stories with Hillsdale’s campus.

A reporter and editor for Detroit Free Press, Allen uses his inves­tigative skills and story-building abil­ities to rep­resent the city of Detroit through pho­tographs. He will be sharing the history of old downtown Detroit through these images.

The book’s syn­opsis says, “Across Detroit, fleeting symbols of the past hide in plain sight, behind weeds and under veneers of paint. Demol­ishing a vacant building among empty store­fronts on the west side uncovered the telltale gold and green of a Vernors Ginger Ale sign, pre­served almost as vibrantly as the artist intended.”

Allen pre­vi­ously wrote for The Col­oradoan in Fort Collins, Col­orado, where Assistant Director of the Dow Jour­nalism Program Maria Servold was his col­league for about a year.

“Robert was a won­derful col­league and is an excellent reporter and writer. He is always enthu­si­astic about the next story, and that drive is evident in his new book,” Servold said. “It’s full of stories that will educate and delight readers.”

Join Allen for this Dow Jour­nalism talk this Monday, Sep. 17, at 7 p.m. in Lane 124.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    what about the pros­perous present that is emerging recently and the future that is cur­rently being rebuilt in detroit? I think more stu­dents should make the trip and observe all areas of the city.