Many American rustbelt cities are contracting radically as we enter the second decade of life in a WTO world, where industrial production has moved to China, India, and other developing nations. This has created a new kind of American ghost-town, on the outskirts of once-thriving midwestern cities — or, in the worst cases, in pockets right in the middle of town. David Tribby has documented some of the ruined areas of Gary, IN in a book called Gary Indiana | A City's Ruins. Dark Roasted Blend has a gallery of some of the photos from Tribby's book, along with a potted history of the town's rise and fall.
Gary, Indiana, back then, was still a good place, a productive place. Founded in 1906, it was a gleaming city built of, and because of, steel. Quite literally, in fact; while other cities may have been at the intersections of trails or roads, rivers and rivers, or where sea met land, Gary was built by and for U.S. Steel and even christened for that corporation's founder.
For decades, Gary was as tough and resilient as the metals it produced. It survived the Great Depression, it fought off the war years, and it forged and pressed through the 1950s. But during the 1960s, its gleaming life's blood—steel—proved to be its undoing when the industry began to wane, then almost totally collapse, due to cheaper manufacturing overseas.