PDN Photo of the Day

The Calumet Region (8 Photos)

The Calumet Region (8 Photos)

Two Houses, Steiber Street Whiting, IN 1999

All photographs © Gary Cialdella. Two Houses, Steiber Street Whiting, IN 1999.

Once a major crossroads for American industry, the Calumet Region sits on the south shore of Lake Michigan, just east of Chicago, straddling the border between Illinois and northern Indiana. Like so many American post-industrial regions, the Calumet is a mixture of rail yards, refineries, abandoned or underused plants, once-prosperous Main Streets, modest homes, changing neighborhoods and signs of urban renewal.

Photographer Gary Cialdella grew up on the Eastern edge of the Calumet in Blue Island, Illinois. When he left for college, he had no thoughts of returning, but as an adult he moved to nearby Michigan. More than 20 years ago, he reacquainted himself with the area and began photographing it. He recently released his book of black-and-white landscapes, The Calumet Region: An American Place (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago/Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University). The work is also on display at the Brauer Museum of Art through March 21, 2010.

For more on Gary Cialdella’s project The Calumet Region, see our article, “Ain’t That America” (Exposures, January 2010).

Backyard Reese Street Hammond, IN 1999Backyard Reese Street Hammond, IN 1999

Railroad Bridge, Calumet River Chicago 2002Railroad Bridge, Calumet River Chicago 2002

Billboard East Chicago, IN 2003

Billboard East Chicago, IN 2003

Billboard, Indianapolis Blvd. Hammond, IN 2002

Billboard, Indianapolis Blvd. Hammond, IN 2002

Chicago Skyway, View From 99th Street, Chicago 2001Chicago Skyway, View From 99th Street, Chicago 2001

Dormant Blast Furnace, Indiana Harbor Canal East Chicago 2002Dormant Blast Furnace, Indiana Harbor Canal East Chicago 2002

Wihala County Park Beach, Lake County Indiana 1999Wihala County Park Beach, Lake County Indiana 1999

For more on Gary Cialdella’s project The Calumet Region, see our article, “Ain’t That America” (Exposures, January 2010).

Posted in:

Architecture

Tags:

,

Comments:

2 comments

Share

2 Comments

  1. Amazing lines and moments captured. I checked the date on each image and I was surprised they weren’t from 20 or 30 or 50 years ago. Timeless and beautiful. Exactly my favorite type of photography. So much more interesting than just paying the bills.

Top of Page