Monday, August 17, 2009

Rephotographing Denver

I have just embarked on a project to rephotograph downtown Denver, block by block, an area bounded by Arapahoe Street, Wynkoop Street, 19th Street to Cherry Creek. Thirty years ago, I documented these same street corners as a volunteer for the Colorado Historical Society. That project in turn was based on work done by a WPA photographer named Cyril Norred, who worked for the Society in 1937.

This time, I'm proud to say, that my son, Sam Fairchild, is my colleague on this project. He will do the photography on the streets and has already entered all my data linking the original accession numbers of the images with my 1978-79 images. Bravo!

The first time we ventured out, some weeks ago, we tried to find locations on Arapahoe St. Needless to say nothing was familiar from 1978 (let alone 1937). A hailstorm quickly overtook us so we spent the rest of the afternoon at Zaidy's downtown restaurant. Eating hummus was fun, but not the intended mission of the day...hopefully the afternoon storms of Denver will be over soon.

Lower Downtown (LoDo) was a skid row when I photographed in the 70's, one of many skid rows in Denver (South Broadway was another one.) The closer I got to Union Station, the seedier the streets and of course, the closer I got to Arapahoe, the more parking lots I encountered.

Why did I do this project in the first place? Stay tuned...

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