Washington, D.C.

Small front gardens and a sidewalk cafe on 17th Street, N.W., between H and I Streets, August 1973, by Dick Swanson for DOCUMERICA, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

(Click on the image for a better view.)

None of these buildings remain today. The current view (from the ground) is here.

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.

The Sunday porch: Houston, Texas

Mexican-American home in Houston, Texas, April 1973, by Danny Lyon for the DOCUMERICA project, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr (all three photos here).

Lyon made a series of 21 black and white photographs in East Texas in 1973. “They document the environments remaining from the 19th century in terms of architecture, commerce and lifestyles,” according to their original captions. “The pictures also compare the contemporary city showing displacement of the unique by the ordinary and noting current urban problems.”

Above: houses in the Fifth Ward, Houston. Click on the images to enlarge them.

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.

Ruston, Washington

“Children play in yard of Ruston home, while Tacoma smelter stack showers area with arsenic and lead residue,” August 1972, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

The photo was taken by Gene Daniels for DOCUMERICA, an early photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is shown here with its original caption.

From 1972 to 1977, the EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 20,000 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.

Generations

“Trying to hear,” Wisconsin, May 1973, by David Brill, via U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

This photo was taken for DOCUMERICA, an early photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

From 1972 to 1977, the EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 20,000 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.

Boston, Massachusetts

“‘City farmer’ tends garden in the Fenway, administered by the 600-member Fenway Civic Association. Four hundred twenty-five personal gardens are tilled on these five acres in Metropolitan Boston, [Massachusetts],” May 1973, by Ernst Halberstadt, via U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

This photo was taken for DOCUMERICA, an early photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

From 1972 to 1977, the EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 20,000 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.