Vintage landscape: Poca, WV

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: Poca, W.V., 1973,, via Natl. Archives“Water cooling towers of the John Amos Power Plant* loom over Poca, [West Virginia], home that is on the other side of the Kanawha River. Two of the towers emit great clouds of steam.”

This photo† (shown here with original caption) was taken in August 1973 by Harry Schaefer for DOCUMERICA, a photography project of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.


*Three-unit coal-fired power plant.

†Via the U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

The Sunday porch: Chicago

Chicago porches, 1974, via Natl. Archives“Housing and back porches in the inner city of uptown Chicago, Illinois, a neighborhood of poor white southerners. The inner city today is an absolute contradiction [from] the main stream America of gas stations, expressways, shopping centers and tract homes. It is populated by Blacks, Latins and the white poor. Some of the best American architecture survives in her “worst” neighborhoods.”

This photo* was taken by Danny Lyon in August 1974 for DOCUMERICA, a 1970’s photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s shown here with the original caption, presumably written by the photographer.

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.


*Via the U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

Vintage landscape: Chicago mural

Vintage landscape:enclos*ure - Chicago mural, 1973, John H. White, via Natl. Archives“Deteriorated wall mural adjacent to a vacant lot on 35th Street in South Side Chicago. Many Black artists are active in painting outdoor murals in the city’s Black communities. They feel it is a means of sharing art with people of the ghetto who never go to the museums.”

This July 1973 photo was taken by John H. White for DOCUMERICA, a 1970’s photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  It’s shown here with the original caption.

The EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.”  The work continued until 1977 and left behind 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 U.S. National Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013. 

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.

Life in gardens: Chicago

Life in gardens/enclos*ure: Chicago, 1973, via National Archives“Black youngsters performing on an empty lot at 5440 South Princeton Avenue on Chicago’s South Side at a small community program called “an Open Air Fashion and Talent Show” presented by “the New Between The Tracks Council.” It is one of many block clubs and community groups organized to help youngsters “do their thing” during special weekend programs in empty lots in the black communities.”

Life in gardens/enclos*ure: Chicago, 1973, via National ArchivesThese photos* were taken August 1973 by John H. White for DOCUMERICA, a 1970s photography project of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are shown here with their original caption.

A commenter on the flickr page noted: “Forty-one years later and it’s still an empty lot.”

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.


*Via the U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.