Another Year, Another City

2015 was another year of change. After splitting my time in Chicago and Cambridge over the last couple of years, it’s time to add another city into the mix. Since August, I have been hopping between Chicago and Minneapolis, where I am now an assistant professor of sociology at St. Olaf College. Even with the change in location, I’ve actively worked on several projects, including two which have come to a close. The following includes highlights from that work and a few notes about what I’ll be up to in 2016.

PROJECTS

The Affordable Housing of New York City, New York

Among the most exciting developments of 2015 was the publication of Affordable Housing in New York, edited by Matthew Lasner and Nicholas Bloom. I contributed a photography essay and dozens of additional images to the book. The project extends my work on public housing in Chicago and can be read as a companion to my efforts with Devereux Bowly on the revised and expanded edition of The Poorhouse. Samples from the project can be seen in a New York Times feature and an upcoming exhibition at Hunter East Harlem, details forthcoming.

Melrose Commons - El Jardin de Seline Interior: Thomas Morales and Luis Franco

The Area

Four years into the displacement of more than 400 families by an intermodal freight yard project, few residents remain in “The Area.” Instead, the community better resembles a worksite than a neighborhood. After a productive editing period in 2014, we put editing on hold for the year while I continued to work with residents who have both stayed and settled elsewhere. Even so, the rough-cut material was shown at a couple of events, with more scheduled for 2016. In the spring, I presented a small sample of the material at the Place Hacking Sociology conference at the University of Liverpool, and David Weinberg Photography hosted the first public screening of material from the film as part of its An Invisible Hand exhibition. The Weinberg screening was particularly special, as community activist Deborah Payne was present for the Q&A. I expect we will return to post-production work later in 2016.

Leaving Home

Walking to Play Basketball

The Bloomingdale Trail

In 2009, Paul Smith, Ben Helphand, and I held several conversations that would ultimately result in developing the few images I’d made on the nascent Bloomingdale Trail into a project that I would pursue for the next six years. Now that the underused rail spur has been transformed by its own multi-year construction project, I am concluding the series. I’m sure I will continue to spend time on the Trail, but any future work will be a coda to a project about a semi-wild, semi-public place above Chicago’s near northwest side.

The Bloomingdale Trail

At the Eastern Terminus Looking East from the

Buffalo, New York Telescope Houses

I am nearly three years into working on this small typological project about one of Buffalo’s vernacular architectural modes, the telescope house. Now that I have photographed nearly five dozen of the buildings, I have begun to exhibit the work. This year, I exhibited selections from the project at pinkcomma gallery in Boston, as well as published in Satellite magazine and ArchDaily. An exhibition dedicated to the series will be shown this spring in Dennis Maher’s Fargo House gallery in Buffalo.

Buffalo Telescope Houses

OTHER CITIES

As in previous years, I visited a couple of dozen cities in the United States, much of it in support of my now six-year book project with Michael Carriere about creative solutions to local social problems. Below are photographs from some of those visits, as well as a few from a short trip to Norway and Sweden.

Amsterdam, New York

Residential Block, (Former) Fownes Brothers Glove Factory

Boston, Massachusetts

North End Park, Boston Skyline

Buffalo, New York

Alfy's Mini Mart

Cambridge, Massachusetts

In Cambridge, I spent a lot of time treading around during the area’s greatest recorded snowfall.

Cambridge Street After the Blizzard

Chicago, Illinois

Root Inn Liquors

Cleveland, Ohio

City of Cleveland, Do Not Cut Grass

Detroit, Michigan

In 2014, I posted a photograph of Tyree Guyton’s House of Soul, which had been burned by an arsonist that year. The image on the left is the replacement, as of winter 2015.

New House of Soul Senate Theater, Detroit

Houston, Texas

In Houston, I worked on a small project about development in the city’s Third Ward.

New Construction, Third Ward

Indianapolis, Indiana

Sitting on the Porch, Reading

Göteborg, Sweden

Sauna in Frihamnen (Bathing Culture Göteborg)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Corner, Looking Out

Minneapolis, Minnesota

I haven’t yet started a formal project in Minneapolis, but I am exploring the city. Now that the weather has turned, I’m especially looking forward to photographing in the snow and cold.

Scene of a South Minneapolis Shooting Lake Ice Hockey

House, Charles Horn Towers

Oslo, Norway

Oslo Street in the Snow, Uranienborg Church

Racine, Wisconsin

Office

St. Paul, Minnesota

Parade View: Black Lives Matter St. Paul

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm at Dawn

Waugh, Indiana

Movie Projected on the Barn, Indiana

To 2016!

2 comments

  1. Noel Brusman

    Absolutely marvelous, David. Congratulations on your post at St. Olaf’s. My eldest sdon is a graduate of Carleton and my #2 granddaughter graduate from Macalester College in St. Paul. Enjoy Minnesota as you travel the world. I am especially touched by your images of homes with the little touches that show they are loved. The Milwaukee photo is stunning. Have a fine 2016.

  2. Bob Sennhauser

    Bob Sennhauser
    Happy New Year David!

    Congrats on the position at St, Olaf’s. I know that the student’s will be thrilled to have you, and that they will have a great teacher to learn from. You will also have MUCH snow to walk, drive, run in, and to also photograph. When it gets to be
    too cold and too white…visit Houston again and will will talk, walk and investigate the 6 Wards, each with a very different
    past, present, future, community and personality. Have tacos in 300 different taquerias in 72 hours. After the Washington
    Avenue Project: Gentrification/Displacement, I plan to photograph every taqueria in Houston, inside and out, and do oral
    interviews with the owers/workers.

    I am amazed by your energy. By the amount you excellently accomplish in short visits to cities old and new to you. The
    quality of your work will make lives better for many. I applaud you work!

    Have a wonderful day,
    Bob

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