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From the series "Places We Keep: Early Apartment Buildings on Capitol Hill"
11x14” matted to 16x20”, framed 18x22”
Places We Keep project documented select early- and mid-twentieth century apartment buildings on Seattle’s Capitol between 2013 and 2015 through both a documentary and artistic lenses. I shot the entire project on black and white film and printed the images in the traditional darkroom because the visible grain of film and its association with traditional technology are perfectly suited for traditional architecture.
Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s oldest and most architecturally diverse neighborhoods, but also one of the most gentrified. The older architecture of the neighborhood is plucked away one building at a time, and with older buildings often goes affordable housing and creative communities that thrive in it. This project raises awareness of visual appeal and civic value of older buildings.
Lana Blinderman is a documentary photographer and photo-based artist centered on the documentation and preservation of urban architecture. Her portfolio includes images of many Seattle neighborhoods, the Duwamish River, and South King County. Lana studied photography at the University of Washington’s College of the Built Environments and graduated from Seattle University’s Photography BFA program with a thesis project that depicted early- and mid-twentieth century apartment buildings on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Following in its footsteps, she is currently creating a photographic record of mid-century modern apartments in her neighborhood in collaboration with Capitol Hill Historical Society.
At a time of fast and momentous land redevelopment, with whole city blocks obliterated for new construction, Lana is on a mission to capture Seattle architecture as we know and experience it in the moment. With a combination of representational accuracy and lyrical touch, she is building a photographic record of built environments while making others aware of their significance not only as shelter but also as historical, aesthetic and social landmarks. Her work doesn’t eulogize lost buildings. It calls for mindful preservation, adaptive reuse, and diversity of housing that ensures affordable rents and saves individuals and communities from economic displacement.
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