For more than 20 years, the Pontiac Silverdome hosted many of the greatest spectacles in American entertainment. The Super Bowl and the NBA Finals took place there. Led Zeppelin and Pope John Paul II both took the stage there, though not together. Wrestlemania III set a record for indoor attendance at a sporting event in America there.
Now? There's nothing there.
Detroiturbex.com, a website devoted to the preservation of fading Detroit-area landmarks, has shined a spotlight on the now-abandoned Silverdome, and what's in view isn't pretty. The stadium's fabric roof has collapsed, exposing the field below to the elements. The seats will be torn out and sold later this year. The suites are being left to rot.
Curbed features Detroiturbex's complete photo gallery, 54 pictures documenting the sad end of what was once an American icon. The stadium has sat open to nature for years; the Lions haven't played there since 2002, and there hasn't been an event since 2011. A 2012 storm shredded the roof, leaving the stadium in its current decrepit state.
Detroiturbex documents the decline and fall of the stadium in painful detail, from its hopeful origins in the '60s and '70s to its 2009 sale for less than $600,000.
Tough to see. It's as much a cautionary tale for today's domes as it is a sad legacy for the Detroit area.