American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit Book by Philip Jarmain

This book presents the photographic work of Canadian photographer Philip Jarmain. Since 2010 Jarmain has been documenting the increasingly rapid destruction of Detroit’s early twentieth-century buildings. His emphasis in this work is on the architecture itself of these vanishing edifices: the form and the detail. In Jarmain’s own words: “These are the last large format architectural photographs for many of these structures.” Fine art images depicting the interiors and exteriors of monumental public buildings of 1900-1910 comprise the content of this book.

The city of Detroit has had an unprecedented impact on the industrial age and the modern world. Once called “The Paris of the Midwest,” it was a city driven by innovation and craftsmanship. The architecture of Detroit in the early 1900s rivaled that of New York, Chicago, or Paris. Then came the Great Depression of the 1930s. Though Detroit would rise again, the era of opulence was over. The boom of the 1950s did not produce another architectural renaissance. In 2009, the US recession hit Detroit like a second Great Depression, compounding the decline and the ruin as the city became bankrupt.


This is a book produced for collectors. Only 313 copies are being produced and signed. Beginning with the forward written by Philip Jarmain, it features 53 photographs accompanied by text telling the history of each of these magnificent structures. Each copy will also be accompanied by a 12”x9” fine art print on 100% cotton rag archival photo paper from the American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit photography collection.


Price: $495.00 Canadian

Editions:  313 numbered and signed copies will be produced.  (313 is Detroit City’s area code and Detroit is often referred to as “The 313”)

Fine Art Print: The Book will be accompanied by a 9”x12” Fine art print signed and editions of the number of the book purchased. The options for the photographs are: Belle Isle Aquarium, Lee Plaza Hotel Ballroom, Michigan Theatre, and Greyhound Lines.

Price of Book Only (No Fine Art Print): $275.00 Canadian