Tagged: Indiana

The Ohio River in Kentuckiana

Ohio River in the Fog

I spent last weekend in the small Indiana cities that share the banks of the Ohio River with Louisville. Like many small towns along the river, the settlements have surprisingly long histories, with founding dates reaching back into the late 1700s. Over these some 200 years, the Ohio repeatedly left its imprint on the cities. To contemporary eyes the clearest marks are ripples from the Ohio River flood of 1937. The flood affected nearly every settlement along its banks, from its origin at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in Pittsburgh to where it meets the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois. In the Kentuckiana region, the Louisville Ohio River gauge reached a record height of 52.15 feet, nearly 30 feet higher than flood stage. For context, the highest the river has reached in recent years was just over 31 feet in 2011, and at time of writing, it is currently at 12.74 feet.

Since the record flood, the cities along the river constructed a mix of earthen and concrete flood walls above the 1937 high water line. Given how prominent these features are in the cities’ histories and built environment, I wanted to spend the few free hours I had to glimpse the cities’ connection with the Ohio. Perhaps some day I will return and start to develop a project that connects to my work upriver in the Pittsburgh area. But for now, that meant I often photographed near the flood walls, but also through sites with connections to the river, like the EZ Food Mart, which is open late to serve the Jeffboat shipyards or Clarksville’s Falls of the Ohio Liquor Store, that takes its name from the nearby waterfalls along the Ohio River.


Through the Flood Barrier

Moby Dick Falls of the Ohio Liquor Store

Through the Flood Barrier

House At Night
Residential Building Gate 5, Jeffboat

Overlooking the Ohio River

On the Wrong Side of the Flood Barrier

EZ Food Mart

Flood Wall

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!

Chicago at -15 Fahrenheit

Promontory Point in the Vapor Obligatory Downtown Chicago View from Northerly Island
Towards the Jackson Park Outer Harbor Looking North

Over the last several days, the Chicago region experienced as much as 18 inches of snow and temperatures as low as -15 Fahrenheit (roughly -26 Celsius). I love how snow transforms the city and how low temperatures affect the visibility of water vapor, so I headed out to get a sense of the South Side and Northwestern Indiana.

The following is a selection of my favorite photographs from my outings. As always, you can click through to see larger versions of the photographs on flickr.


In the Cold

Streetlight, In the Snow

Residential Building, L

Steam

Looking North

From the Rail Embankment

In the Snow

Almost There in Northwestern Indiana

As regular followers of my flickr stream know, since January I have been producing environmental video for the Kartemquin Films documentary Almost There. The film follows an 82-year-old artist who lives in the Northwestern Indiana region, and my goal was to provide a sense of the landscape in relation to his important life events.

While I don’t live far from the Indiana border, the Northwestern Indiana communities are outside my daily routine, so I was excited to have the opportunity to focus on the region. While my main work was video, I photographed many of the scenes and spent some time photographing my own subjects. I’ve selected a few of my favorite images from that work in Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago and included them below. Click on any of the images to view them bigger on flickr.

Look for Almost There on PBS next year. In the meantime, you can receive updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Whiting, Indiana

In the Steam

Ice, After the Fire

Good Shepard Apostolic Church

Burning

Cool Creations

Houses, Steam

At Night

Marktown Street at Dusk

In the Alley

In Whiting

Mills Electric Co.

In the Alley, Beyond

A Year of Demolition in Chicago (and Some Travel)

After filling 2010 and 2011 with travel, I changed gears in 2012 to spend most of the year in Chicago working on two local projects.

The first was the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation supported To be Demolished series, in which I photographed 100 buildings threatened with demolition throughout the city. Among my goals for the project was to get a sense of the range of buildings lost, from minor buildings receiving no public attention to those in the limelight. The full series is viewable on Gapers Block, and you can read more about it in this column by Mary Schmich.

To be Demolished Screen Shot

The second Chicago project was the simultaneous undertaking of my dissertation and a documentary film about a group of South Side Chicago residents who are being displaced. I will be posting more about that work within a month; in the meantime, here are a few frames from the film. Update: The film is now online, and I’ve included it above the screenshots.





While the local initiatives kept me busy, I still found time to extend projects in Belfast, Northern Ireland and nine other U.S. cities. I visited Belfast to continue documenting the activities of Eleventh Night and The Twelfth, and most of the U.S. visits were structured around wrapping up the fieldwork component of my collaborative effort with Michael Carriere, which I’ve previously mentioned on the blog and was written up in The Atlantic Cities.

Below I present a selection of photographs from most of those cities, alongside a few more from the Chicago area.

Elsewhere in the Chicago Region

With Train Yard, Fog and Car

In Their Garage

Marktown, Indiana Aerial Looking East

From Across the Street

Belfast, Northern Ireland


Burning the Kids' Bonfire

Building a Bonfire

Buffalo, New York


Towards the New York Central Terminal (Buffalo)

Cincinnati, Ohio


Frank's

Chama, New Mexico


Through the Trees

Cheyenne, Wyoming


In the Parking Lot

Denver, Colorado


Gothic Theater

Detroit, Michigan


Walking in the Morning

Indianapolis, Indiana


Dried Pond, Houses

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


At the B & C Lounge

Photographs from Another Year of Travel

Last year I compiled a list of representative photographs from many of the locations I visited in 2010. This year was similarly packed with travel, so I decided I should do it again, starting a year from when I made the last post. Nineteen U.S. metropolitan areas and Vancouver, Canada are represented, although there are a few other places I visited that I didn’t include.

A quick note about what you’ll see below: After I visit a place, I typically make a short blog post wherein I share a handful of favorite photographs from the visit. To make it easier to see those images, I’ve linked each city name to a post. Where there isn’t a post, I’ve linked the title to my full flickr set from the approximate place and labeled it with a “[f]”. You can click on any image to see a larger version of it on flickr.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Filling the Water Tank

Colonia residents fill their portable water tank from a new well on the Pajarito Mesa, southwest of Albuquerque. The 400 family community has no public utilities, including running water, electricity or direct access to school busing for children.

Baltimore, Maryland

Perlman Place, Before and After City-Initiated Demolition

The left image was made on the first day of the Perlman Place demolition on April 16, 2010, the right on November 19, 2011. The simplified backstory is after years of neighborhood decline, a developer decided he wanted to turn this block into upmarket, renovated row houses; however, he didn’t have enough financing to make it work. The result was a stalled project, leaving the block in the state it was when pictured in the 2010. In response, the city initiated demolition. There are no immediate plans to replace the demolished units with new housing. The remaining residents are pleased that there are fewer derelict buildings to mask criminal activity, but they are terribly sad to have lost the block.

Chicago, Illinois [f]

Lake Shore Drive in the Blizzard

Cars remained stranded in the snowdrifts on Lake Shore Drive as the blizzard gusted on the morning of February 2.

Cleveland, Ohio

No Road

A closed road on Cleveland’s East Side restricts vehicular traffic from one community to another.

Dallas, Texas

Elmers Drive-In, Downtown Dallas

This convenience store is one of a few retailers nestled between bail bondsmen and other lower rent businesses near the county’s criminal justice complex. Downtown Dallas rises in the background.

Dayton, Ohio [f]

Neighbors

A historic cemetery is crammed into a busy commercial strip in south suburban Dayton.

Detroit, Michigan [f]

West Fort Appliance (After the Neighbors Turned on Their Lights)

The locally-owned West Fort Appliance is illuminated by a neighboring building in the absence of functioning streetlights in this part of the city’s southwest side.

Indianapolis, Indiana [f]

Black Friday: Best Buy Line

Late Thanksgiving night, shoppers waited to take take advantage of discount prices at a Best Buy in an Indianapolis suburb. I walked the length of the parking lot just before midnight, photographing the line’s accumulation in front of four other big box store locations. Two of the four were occupied.

Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri

Railroad Tracks, Grain Elevator, Skyline

Railroad tracks branch out into no fewer than 22 lines before converging into Kansas City, Missouri.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Walking Home

A man walks home from work through his apartment complex on the near east side of Las Vegas.

Lubbock, Texas

Oil Pump at Night

An oil pump churns through the night on the eastern edge of Lubbock, Texas. Here is a short audio recording of how it sounded.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin [f]

Sitting on His Stoop

This man moved to Milwaukee eight years ago after living in Chicago for most of his life. Tired of living in Milwaukee, he is planning on moving to Minneapolis sometime soon.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Residential Buildings, Boys on Bicycle, Falstaff

Two boys ride a bike by a shotgun house marked for demolition on a short residential street. The former Falstaff Brewery is visible on the right side of the frame.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Awesome Books

One of many stores along the burgeoning Penn Avenue Arts District, Awesome Books sells a range of secondhand books.

San Diego, California

At Play

Children play in one of the many mobile home parks located along I-5 between San Diego and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Santa Fe, New Mexico [f]

Along the Highway

A painted billboard rests outside a derelict mall along I-25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Topeka, Kansas

Hanover Pancake House, McDonald's, Water Tower

Hanover Pancake House, which has served Topeka since 1969, is flanked by McDonald’s and a water tower during a February snowstorm.

Tushka, Oklahoma

Preparing the Chairs

Tushka High School students break down desks and other damaged materials following a tornado that destroyed much of the small Oklahoma town.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Regent Hotel, Union Market, Hastings Street

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is the location of a major redevelopment effort due to its high number of boarding houses and SROs, a few of which are seen here.

Washington, D.C. [f]

Occupy D.C., Freedom Plaza

The Occupy D.C. demonstrations are located on two sites: Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square. The Freedom Plaza encampment (seen above) is adjacent to the District of Columbia’s government building and within sight of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Transitions Between Here and There

My interest in the transformation of the built environment started with watching the razing of central Indiana farmsteads for suburban expansion in the early 1990s. These buildings, like the one below, became the subjects of my first landscape photographs.

Hamilton County, Indiana, 1994
Hamilton County, Indiana, 1994

While I typically work in urban areas now, I make an effort to spend time in the rural and transitional areas between Indianapolis and Chicago whenever I have occasion to leave the city.

Many of the same issues affect these areas as they did when I was learning about them in the early 1990s, but the region is more complex than it was then. Even with the recent recession, the rural edges are still pressured by suburban expansion, but a variety of other economic and geographic pressures demonstrate the changing rural landscape.

The area is dotted with vestiges of commerce, from familiar billboards and grain elevators to new forms of industry, including wind turbines and industrial agriculture property. Together, they introduce new pressures on longstanding concerns about exurban development while providing some hope against outmigration in truly rural communities.

With those brief thoughts as background, here are a few of my favorite photographs of the places between my former and current homes.

Indiana Hub Center Remington

Agribusiness at Night 3

Christmas Eve

Eagle Creek Cemetery

Stand

A New Rural Landscape

Otterbein Town Square

Sheridan, Christmas Eve

The Fowler Theatre

Basketball in Lebanon, Indiana

Transition: Suburban Development and Farm

Kyburz Auto Center Stage, Wind Turbines

Twin Kiss

Grain Elevator, Mobile Home

At Night

A Year of Photographing Elsewhere

There’s no question that 2010 was an unprecedented year for my fieldwork. In addition to many Chicago area opportunities, I visited nearly two dozen major U.S. cities and had the opportunity to spend time in Belfast, Northern Ireland during Twelfth Night. Each location allowed for several days in the field, so I’ve amassed quite a collection of photographs.

As a way of getting a handle on that work, I pulled out one favorite photograph from many of the locations I visited. A few were exhibited in my recent work shows at the Op Shop and Everyblock, as well as the “Considering the City” show at Work • Detroit, but one would have to consistently follow my flickr stream to see all of these images — so I thought I should share them here.

Atlanta, Georgia

Walking

Baltimore, Maryland

Perlman Place, Baltimore

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast Loyalist Bonfire Preparation, View #1

Chicago, Illinois

Residential Building, New Lights

Clinton, Iowa

Detroit, Michigan

Lit Sides

Indianapolis, Indiana

Skip's MARKET

Las Vegas, Nevada

Police Raid, Children Walking

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Running Through the Demolition Site

New Orleans, Louisiana

Davis Mortuary Service, Crescent City Connection

New York City, New York

Metal Recycling, Cooperative Housing, Bronx

Oakland, California

In the Glow

Phoenix, Arizona

Sunnyslope Mountain, Women Talking

San Francisco, California

Repairing

Sparta, Georgia

Hancock County Court

Washington, D.C.

Memorial, Anacostia Public Housing