Tag Archives: new york

Panorama of Fort Niagara

The layout of Fort Niagara

Camera: Widelux FVI; Film: Kodak 35mm, TMax100


Fort Niagara via Widelux

The view from the wall

On my last visit to the east coast, I drove out to Fort Niagara, which overlooks the mouth of the Niagara River. I have already written about the historic fort in a previous post.

I brought my Widelux panoramic camera along for the visit, and I have a few photos that I thought I’d share. The scans turned out okay, but I have to say I really like the massive 4″x12″ prints.

The French Castle

Camera: Widelux FVI; Film: Kodak 35mm, TMax100


Robert Frank

Ordinary people, doing ordinary things…

Robert Frank, in his New York home; Photograph by Allen Ginsberg

In 1954, Robert Frank set off across the United States in a used Ford with his Leica camera. He had the idea of photographing America as it unfolded before his eyes. He spent two years on the journey, shooting 767 rolls of film, for over 28,000 shots.

83 of those shots would end up in the book “The Americans”.

Image: “Trolley – New Orleans” 1955, photo by Robert Frank

The Americans was first published in 1959, and it took the photography world by storm. The images were honest and gritty, and most of all raw. It was a masterwork of street photography.

US 285 – New Mexico 1956; photo by Robert Frank

Initially, it did not go over well. America was high on the post war 1950’s. Images showing that not everyone in the country had achieved the “American Dream” were not what the public was shouting for. The book went out of publication after only 1100 being printed.

Rodeo – New York City 1955; photo by Robert Frank

History has been kinder. The Americans has seen several reprints, and few photo books have had as large an influence on contemporary photography.

Frank would go on to make fifty documentary films, but he never abandoned still photography.

Map of Robert Frank’s photo trek

Robert Frank died on Monday; he was 94.


Niagara River

City of Niagara from Goat Island; Camera: Leica M3, Film: Kodak 35mm Ektar 100


Dry docked

Sitting high along the Erie Canal; Camera: Leica M3, Film: Kodak 35mm Ektar 100


Lockport

Lockport, NY on the Erie Canal; Camera: Leica M3, Film: Kodak 35mm Ektar 100


Super Charged

Pierce Arrow


Chicago Union Station


Union Station in Chicago

Chicago Union Station opened in 1925, and is the second building on the site to carry the name. It is the fourth busiest rail terminal in the U.S., serving 140,000 passengers every weekday on average. Union Station has ten tracks coming into it from the north, and 14 from the south.


The Great Hall

Union Station’s headhouse covers an entire city block, with the Great Hall at its center. The Great Hall’s atrium stands 110 feet high, and is capped by a vaulted skylight. The entire Union Station takes up close to ten Chicago city blocks, the vast majority of it underground.

For some reason, I’ve been finding myself in New York State recently, and an easy way to travel from New York to the Twin Cities has been to hop aboard Amtrak. Once again I joined the Lake Shore Limited passengers in Syracuse, NY and transferred in Chicago, where I boarded the Empire Builder to Saint Paul, MN. That particular Am-trek takes around 23 hours of total travel time.

Unlike all other stations that serve Amtrak, every train either originates, or terminates at Chicago Union Station. There is no thru traffic on Amtrak in Chicago.


Amtrak mural at Chicago Union Station


Another view: St Lawrence State Hospital


Abandoned administration building


St. Lawrence State Hospital

Ogdensburg, New York

Originally to be called the Ogdensburg State Asylum for the Insane, the name was officially changed to the St. Lawrence State Hospital before the first patient was admitted in 1890. The 950 acre parcel of land along the Saint Lawrence River was bought by the State of New York for $90,500 in 1887.

By the 1940’s, the hospital had become a “city within a city”. Food for the over 2000 residents came from poultry, dairy and vegetable farms within the grounds. The hospital had its own police & fire departments, post office and telephone system. There was also carpentry, plumbing and paint shops, a tailor shop, theater, community store, and the hospital had its own nursing school.

The St Lawrence Hospital closed in 1983.

When I was in Ogdensburg, my tour guide drove me through the hospital grounds. The massive stone buildings are all in various state of disrepair. I cringed at the sight of open roofs, knowing the damage that is being done internally to these wonderful buildings. As a contractor, I realize the effort and craftsmanship that went into their construction over 130 years ago. It’s just a shame that the city of Ogdensburg could not get the State of New York to do something constructive with the site.