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Gary Dilapidated: 317B – Doors, windows and gateways

My parents began as neighbors. For most of my life, my grandmothers lived down the street from each other. This house was one I ran to in my childhood dreams when I sought reassurance, security and comfort.

These pictures were taken in November 2011. My grandmother had gone to visit her daughter in Wisconsin in 2004 or so but maintained that she would return home “soon”. It was not to be. She died in 2012 in Arizona. The first few years she was away, my brother took care of her house. However, after my brother died in 2007, the property became a free-for-all as it was well-known it was vacated. Thieves removed fixtures, counters, sinks, and window panes… then squatters moved in. It was very unsettling to walk around this house in such a dilapidated state.

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Gary Dilapidated: 434B

I was born in Gary, IN, but I haven’t lived there since I was five years old. I visited family pretty regularly. These photos were taken during one of my last visits in autumn 2011. My youthful memories of this house and yard are full of life and fun. My grandmother had a garden that took up most of the backyard and rose bushes and flowers surrounded the house. Most memorable: the whole block had been inhabited when I young. During this visit, the neighborhood was like a ghost town.

I believe this was the first time I traveled with my then-new DSLR camera, so I went about documenting what I saw as decay even as I remembered and envisioned life.