Abandoned Maheras-Gentry Recreation Center, Detroit
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
The park now known as Maheras-Gentry Playfield began life when it was created in the 1920s as 'Algonquin Park'. After the idea for the park was hatched, a park center was constructed in 1933 and was given the name 'Peter Maheras Park', named after a local boy who fought and was killed in 1943 during World War II – the first Detroiter to be killed in that war.
Sometime around 1957, with the park not being as kept up as it should've been, a local man named Bronson Gentry made it his mission to get the city to buckle down and fix up the park/playground so the kids had a decent, safe place to play.
The city agreed to fork over $500,000 for a new recreation center, but they wanted to put it in a predominantly white neighborhood. Of course this didn't set well with Gentry. He basically said “okay, then, I'll just bus the black kids to your white park”...and the city caved....they promised $550,000 for a new center as well as a swimming pool in Maheras Park.
In 1997, developers were after a hunk of the park so they could turn it into a housing development. This also riled Gentry, believing a housing unit would prevent park visitors from the waterfront. After meeting after meeting, Gentry won his argument...and the locals were so impressed, in 2002 they re-named the park in his honor: the “Peter Maheras-Bronson Gentry Memorial Play Field”. Bronson passed away the following year: March 3, 2003 at age 78.
Two more years went by, and without Bronson Gentry around to fight for it, the recreation center was officially closed.
The gallery below shows images of the overgrown park and abandoned center.
Abandoned Gentry Recreation Center
MORE ABANDONED MICHIGAN!