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Backyard Memories

Julie Oldfield | NY - New York, United States

The City owns many vacant homes. Some are auctioned off. This one on Wilson Street is listed as a "demo case" on the City's website.

Rochester, New York has been the home to Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb. Similar to other Rust Belt cities, it has suffered from population and job loss. Since 1970, the Rochester area has lost nearly 100,000 manufacturing jobs. Its population has fallen to about 209,000 from its peak of a little over 332,000 in 1950. 

These photos focus on the backyards of the City's many abandoned houses. These backyards once were gathering places for children and families and now fall silent. Objects found in these yards often harken back to happier times. However, derelict properties attract crime and are a blight on the Rochester community. The city has been aggressively demolishing abandoned homes causing wide swaths of empty lots. The eroding property tax base means there is less money for education, infrastructure and vital services. Rochester does have its beautiful neighborhoods, but hopefully these photos will bring attention to those areas hardest hit by poverty and population loss.

I am a documentary photographer from Rochester, NY. My work focuses on bringing attention to poverty, homelessness, and blight effecting Rochester and the surrounding area. 

Unites States Cenus

Policy by Numbers: http://policybynumbers.com/the-decline-of-manufacturing-in-new-york-and-the-rust-belt

CityofRochester.gov

joldfeld@rochester.rr.com

www.oldfieldphotography.com

www.pbase.com/joldfield

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