Last House Standing: How Once We Were: Photographs of the Past
I was commissioned, in 1973, by the newly minted Environmental Protection Agency (along with close to 100 other photographers) to document the multitude of environmental issues facing our nation. Gifford Hampshire and Arthur Rothstein recruited me for my phase of the project.
I had been following newspaper reports about the environmental impact of the Logan Airport expansion on East Boston. I knew that taking on this project would be challenging. A major part of the East
Boston dilemma was noise pollution, which is difficult to capture in still photographs. But the subject called me. It underscored how the dominant wreak their power, to the detriment of quality of life. There was much publicity at the time. Then the Documerica photographs went into the National Archives, tucked away in archival storage for forty years until it was recovered and resurrected through a team of public servants. Jeanethe Falvey, then of the EPA, led the way into bringing the project and its purpose into renewed public awareness.
In the course of this, Jeanethe reached out for my piece of the puzzle, and put its modern iteration, State of the Environment (2011 to 2013), into motion. Here was a visual reminder that we must persevere in saving the earth. Those of us touched by Documerica hope that it serves as a reminder of what once was, and what may yet be done. It is a reminder that our choices make a difference.