PUBLISHED: 05:03 EST, 26 June 2012 | UPDATED: 10:24 EST, 26 June 2012
These depressing images show how far an American industrial powerhouse has fallen.
Once an east coast centre credited with creating some of the nation’s largest warships, Camden in New Jersey is now a sad shadow of its former self.
The shipyards where 36,000 workers would ply their trade now lie empty, surrounded by thousands of decaying and abandoned homes.
Abandoned: These depressing images show how far an American industrial powerhouse has fallen
Dilapidated: Citizens are subjected to a brutal existence, strolling around the grubby roads and falling down houses
Run down: It was once an east coast centre credited with creating some of the nation’s largest warships
Wonder: It’s a surprise that some of the houses are still standing, seeing the appalling condition they are being left to descend into
Depressing: Camden in New Jersey is now a sad shadow of its former self
Neighbourhood: People are scarcely seen on the city’s streets which have become the second most dangerous in the U.S.
Drop: The population has plummeted by more than 40 per cent from its 1950 level of 120,000
The stench of sewage permeates the run-down streets, which have the second highest crime rates of anywhere across the country.
Of its 70,390 residents, a staggering 40 per cent are out of work, with many having been ‘on the scrapheap’ from the ‘formal economy’ for generations.
The population has plummeted by more than 40 per cent from its 1950 level of 120,000, but there is little hope for those who remain.
City budgets are being slashed, nearly half of the police force has been axed in recent years and the public library system is now almost non-existent.
Contrast: The Camden City Hall Building is one of the buildings not to have been left to rack and ruin
Devastated: Many houses have simply been left to rack and ruin
Former glories: Echoes of a previous time are evident everywhere you go in Camden
Filthy: The stench of sewage permeates the run-down streets
Hope: Despite the city’s obvious problems, efforts are being made in the form of the Camden Community Housing Campaign to smarten it up
Jobless: Of its 70,390 residents, a staggering 40 per cent are out of work
Hazard: The homes are a health and safety risk, with many of them simply uninhabitable
Out of work: Many of the city’s residents have been ‘on the scrapheap’ from the ‘formal economy’ for generations
CITY OF CRIME: CAMDEN
Forcible rape: 60
Violent crime: 1,880
Motor theft: 649
* in Camden (per 100,000 of population)
Deserted streets are now home to prostitutes and drug-pushers, who huddle under the noxious clouds spewed out by a huge rubbish-burning plant.
According to the AroundPhilly blog on Yahoo, one resident said: ‘We don’t have any real policing in Camden. They’re just out here to pick up the bodies.’
It’s a far cry from the city’s heyday, when it was a destination for Italian, German, Polish and Italian immigrants.
Camden, located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, was originally incorporated as a city in February 1828.
But although once a hive for manufacturing and industry, it is perhaps best known for its struggles with crime.
Three Mayors have been jailed for corruption and two out of every five residents live well below the national poverty line.
Deserted: Camden has no movie theatres and the only supermarket is located outside of the city, away from the crime-ridden streets
Discarded: Empty bottles sit as a shrine on the location where a citizen was murdered
Back in the day: Camden, New Jersey, was a hub of manufacturing in industry for many decades
Style: Heavyweight champion of the world Joe Walcott and his wife are snapped strolling down Camden’s Main Street during one of Joe’s leisure days in 1951
Decay: Camden, located opposite Philadelphia, is a shadow of the city it used to be