Since visiting tourist attractions are often thought of as contrived, I often believe exploring the lesser known areas a positive experience.
Three days in Chicago meant fitting in exploring and seeing and tasting all the things I wanted in a tightly packed schedule. After seeing multiple, fascinating images of abandoned buildings in and around Chicago, I contacted photographer and PhD candidate, David Schalliol out of the blue. To my delight, he replied, and we planned a meeting for brunch. Because of his “Isolated Buildings Study” and suburban depictions of often more derelict areas, I asked about his process, intentions behind the projects, and some of the city’s history.
Chicago is not regarded as the safest city in the United States, and as a somewhat small, Asian woman in an unfamiliar area, I am extremely wary of my surroundings. Fortunately, I had almost no negative encounters. However, this also meant that I could not bring myself to simply step into any abandoned building alone without protection. If I had more time to explore Chicago, I would definitely plan better to some of these places I’ve seen in photographs in person with other friends.
Brick is widely used, especially in comparison to the drab, dessert-toned plethora of stucco buildings in Los Angeles. I love seeing this material, though the building below looked like it had seen better days. I also wonder why so many windows and doors were bricked up in the city. Is it to deter vandals and trespassers? A re-purposing of the building? I suppose it’s something I’ll have to learn on my next trip.