City of the Century
Gary, Indiana was an industrial blossom that metamorphosed from glorious bloom to wilted remnants in less than a century. Iron and ore was its beating heart and with mechanization, outsourcing of labor to other countries, combined with various rapidly changing economic factors, much of the city is now but a relic of its former grandeur.
The near demise of Gary during the Great Depression would serve as an ominous foreshadowing of the risk involved when a city is solely dependent on one industry- steel. Eventually, factories closed, jobs were lost, the population decreased drastically and sparse money in the local economy resulted in the closing of schools, parks and public buildings.
Gary’s abandoned buildings have become part of the urban landscape as monuments to a golden era of the once booming industrialization of the Midwest. The derelict Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium, U.S. Post Office, City United Methodist Church and its Seaman Hall, are depicted through a series of contemplative photographs and photomontages sharing a glimpse into their desolate halls, quiet decay and vivid history.
The images which formed the basis for the book were taken in 2010 and year by year, another brick erodes, a fire takes its toll and another architectural detail fades to dust. The pages in this book hold time still, if just for a moment longer.
CITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH + SEAMAN HALL
THE US POST OFFICE
Talissa Mehringer © 2020