Unassuming in Ballard
As Seattle’s demolition frenzy continues to obliterate the histories of entire neighborhoods, my work tells the stories of the city’s unofficial landmarks through photography and photo-based collage. Last year, walking around Ballard, I noticed the unassuming beauty of its older commercial zones. Well-known and well-loved among Seattle neighborhoods, Ballard has long been home to small and medium businesses serving the maritime and aviation industries. Despite so many of its blue-collar businesses yielding to upper-class artisanal establishments, small manufacturing (and complementary infrastructure) are still an important part of the neighborhood’s distinct personality.
While the city’s explosive growth and relentless gentrification will likely continue to reshape the neighborhood, its deadpan commercial facades, older housing abutting small industry, and mid-century modernism carry a visual and emotional quality that no new development can replace.