PHOTO GALLERY: The Wasteland - A Durham Dystopia
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Saturday, November 3, 2012 13:11
A graveyard of apartment buildings — demolished to their foundations — inhabits the void between W.G. Pearson Magnet Middle School and Highway 147. The vacant acreage is a wasteland, an emblem of disinvestment in the community surrounding N.C. Central University. According to Durham County tax records, the land is owned by company listed as Campus-Fayette.
The company's tax listing shares an address in Alabama with Campus Apartments, a large student housing company
that owns and manages Campus Crossings, a popular apartment complex among NCCU students.
On campusapts.com, the company declares managing assets in excess of $2 billion.
The home page of the website declares its motto: "Smart. Living." Two words, nothing more.
Tax records list the value of the acreage as more than $2 million.
In a press statement, the company said plans for a joint development project with NCCU never materialized.
These are the things I find while scouting the perimeter of the site: A woman's blue blouse. A leopard print wallet, no money. Empty beer bottles in brown bags. Bacardi rum bottles.
While taking pictures of the wasteland, the word “dystopia” crosses my mind.
I look it up in the American Heritage College Dictionary: "Dystopia — An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror." Two words below 'dystopia' is the word 'dystrophy.' The definition is fitting: "A degenerative disorder caused by inadequate or defective nutrition."