The Sunday porch: Paterson, New Jersey

“Street of homes in the inner city of Paterson, New Jersey,” June 1974, by Danny Lyon for DOCUMERICA, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr (both photos).

Lyon‘s original caption continues: “The inner city today is an absolute contradiction to the Main Stream America of gas stations, expressways, shopping centers and tract homes. It is populated by Blacks, Latins and the white poor. Most of all, the inner city environment is human beings, as beautiful and threatened as the 19th century buildings.”

DOCUMERICA was an photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From 1972 to 1977, it hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 80,000 images. In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013.

You can see more of Lyon’s photos for DOCUMERICA here.

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