Gray ghost 

Abandoned Shelter of the Week

More than a few former eyesores in this east-side neighborhood have been the beneficiaries of new siding, windows and landscaping. And, for a while, it looked like this house at 11726 Corbett would join their ranks.

Neighbors say the place has been a mess for eight years, but it seemed as if the nearly 80-year-old structure had new life when someone began fixing it up about two years ago. They started by replacing the windows. Lornell Williams watched the activity when he used to live across from the house.

“They were really making an effort to fix it,” says Williams. “I don’t know if they were squatters or what, but they just ran off.”

A man named Ernest Smith is identified in city records as the owner. He told the Abandoned Structure Squad that he sold the place years ago. He promised that he’d get back to us when he figured out why his name was still pinned on the mess.

While we sit on our collective ASS, so to speak, and wait for his call, we’ll take a few moments to inform you that, since the departure of those mysterious occupants, the place has served as a gathering place for trash piles, a forest of weeds, and the ghostly frames of the former windows that still rest on the side of the house.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

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