Uptown: Portrait of a Chicago Neighborhood in the Mid-1970s is out of print. But you can now download a free PDF here. Caution: this is a 32-megabyte file and the book is coffee-table sized (9.5″ x 13″). Many of the photos are spreads (13″ x 9″), so it’s best viewed on a computer with a large screen.
The book contains 272 pages, 250+ illustrations, plus an introduction and captions that put the images and the era in historical context. For photographers, the book also contains notes about the equipment and techniques I used when taking the photos.
“Uptown: Portrait of a Chicago Neighborhood in the Mid-1970s” is a time capsule from 50 years ago. It shows you what life was like in one of Chicago’s most diverse and densely populated neighborhoods.
Viewed as a book, instead of a website, these photos become even more powerful. When you see all of the images back to back, as opposed to opening them one by one, it’s easier to see the forces that shaped this fascinating neighborhood and the way ordinary people adapted to them. Below are two sample spreads from the book.
Photographing in Uptown for four years made me much less judgmental and much more understanding of the troubles other people face. I experienced firsthand the plight of parents forced to chose between shoes and food for their children.