Where the Lions Sleep: James Griffioen’s Feral Houses of Detroit


Photographer James Griffioen left a comfy life as a securities lawyer in San Francisco to take pictures and raise his family in what many consider the most dangerous city in America thanks to a staggering rate of 1,220 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people. He now calls Detroit home sweet home.

Griffioen has since spent his days walking the streets of his disintegrating hometown photographing the houses that others have long left behind. In the absence of their owners, architectural structures are slowly taken over by green matter. He calls the series of photographs Feral Houses; feral meaning “reversion to a wild state” and belonging to the dead. There is nothing sinister about these images though. Instead they remind us of the indomitable power of nature — living proof of Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us .

All images courtesy of James Griffioen.