Photography as cultural record keeping. Looking at vanishing "Texas" in growing Austin.
This shot is part of a series of original buildings that lined Congress Ave., the street that leads right up to the state capitol. Congress used to be lined with many two and three story brick or stone buildings that had been there since early days. The image above is of the side of a building that started out as a clothing store and at some point became the home of one of our city's most beloved Mexican food restaurants; Las Manitas.
The whole block was recently demolished and flattened to make way for the amazingly bland J.W. Marriott Hotel. A cookie cutter convention hotel that, I am sure, generates money hand over fist for the Marriott corporation. I'm sure the property now also generates thousands of times the tax revenues of the old restaurant and also the surrounding businesses that proceeded the hotel. We've gained some revenue and lost a bit of our heritage.
Progress waits for no one. At least we have a continuing series of photographs that tells a two dimensional story of what was there.
Shot eight years back with an Olympus E-1 and a 50mm macro lens.
Photograph the stuff you grew up with before it vanishes. You might want to reminisce.