“The City of the Century”. That’s what everyone called the city of Gary Indiana. And it is a title it truly merits – both in its ascent and its decline. As of 2014, approximately 78,000 people live in this city, so it’s wrong to label it as an abandoned one. During its peak years in 1960, it had more than 170,000 residents. This decline of population caused such economic devastation that resulted in thousands of abandoned homes and buildings.
This precipitous drop has led to a level of economic devastation that has left thousands of homes to rot. According to a survey in 2015, there are about 15,000 buildings in this city that nobody takes care of.
It was the year 1906 when soon-to-be America’s largest company town was founded in the northwest corner of Indiana by U.S. Steel. They named this town after Judge Elbert H. Gary, who had co-founded the corporation with banking magnate J. P. Morgan five years earlier. U.S. Steel purchased around 10,000 acres of the south shores of Lake Michigan. It immediately started the construction of this new town. They also hired workers from all across the country they gave their contribution in Gary’s construction. The decades that followed it’s foundation were quite a glory, but at the same time, full of corruption and economic disparity.
In Gary Indiana By 1950, segregation was one of the main characteristics of this city in the US. Because of that, strikes and protests were increasingly frequent. Also, the crime rate rose during that time.
Throughout the United States, urban living was losing its allure. Those who could afford to do so migrated to the suburbs. Businesses followed them too resulting in a self-perpetuating cycle. So, the less money the cities had, the less populated they became like those who had money had moved somewhere else. All of this cycle had a drastic decline in the economy of the city.
What’s more, in 1993 received the distinction of being the “murder capital of the U.S.” With a murder rate of 91 per 100,000 people-three times that of Chicago- this distinction was inevitable. Gary is the place where real-life horror stories take place. In 2014, the police arrested a man called Darren Deon Vann as he had murdered several local women. He had hidden all their bodies in the abandoned houses spread across the town. Ever since then, the police has managed to find seven of the bodies. They believe that there are still bodies not found yet. Considering the great number of abandoned houses in the area, they’ve got a lot of places to look.
Nevertheless, the residents of the town still remain the welcoming and kind people that they’ve always been. Of course, the crime rate is high in Gary, but still, the majority of the locals and harmless and willing to help you out, just like in every other place.
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