These photos are about the loss of identity in the urban landscape. Our built environment shapes our sense of self, our sense of place and our interactions with others. In cities, buildings are the essence of our collective personality; they are the means through which we enter into contact with a place and with the society that expresses itself in that place.
I began taking these images to document the impact of a new generation of mostly undeterred and monotonous development on our social well-being. Older buildings, sometimes our most visible means of uniqueness that signal a particular neighborhood, are being displaced by metal and concrete boxes that at best have no distinction and quite often have no soul. The new construction is fast and efficient, banal and ubiquitous.
This series is dedicated to Edith Macefield, who owned the home shown in the first image in the series. She'd lived in this same home in Seattle for more than fifty years before developers came and and wanted to tear it down. They tried to buy her out, but she refused all of their offers. Ultimately they offered her almost $1 million dollars for her tiny home, but still she refused. She said, "I'm perfectly happy here, and I don't want to move."
Ms. Macefield died in 2008 at the age of 86, just after I took the photo of her home. She was still living there when she died.