Below are two edits of the same photo-essay. The more recent black & white edition contains new images of the present site condition. Sandwiched between the two are some words I wrote to accompany the original, color, edition. I’m much happier with the black & white version. Please let me know what you think.
Despite appearances, the message I want to convey is neutral. Baxter Terrace was a happy home for many of its inhabitants. Despite popular opinion blaming the race riots that took this nation by storm in the 60s, government funding for subsidized housing began to decline after WWI. This decline accelerated after the second world war. When FHA backed mortgages became a tool for powerful real estate companies to write off their gains, maintaining the buildings stopped being a priority. This exacerbated the emotional and psychological tenderness of poverty. Coupled with large scale institutional racism, we are left with the depreciated landscape of inner cities, robbed of resources and respect. Take a look at “The Pruitt Igoe Myth”.