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Tracing the Changes of 125th Street Since 1977, In Photos

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For the last four decades, Chilean-born photographer Camilo José Vergara has been documenting America's cities, focusing on the "poorest and most segregated communities." In New York, he's shot in Harlem, the Bronx, and "the other Brooklyn," returning to the same locations year after year to capture the changes. "For me, a people's past, including their accomplishments, aspirations and failures," writes Vergara in his photographer's statement, "are reflected less in the faces, postures and clothing of those who live in these neighborhoods than in the material, built environment in which they move and that they modify over time." Now, 400 of his images have been digitized by the Library of Congress (eventually all 10,000 photos will be), making Vergara's time-lapse project open to the public. Shared here are two time lapse series of 125th Street: a storefront that Vergara tracked since 1977, and the Corn Exchange, which he first shot in 1982.

The storefront of 65 East 125th Street, first photographed by Vergara in 1977:


The Corn Exchange, which is currently being rebuilt and redeveloped as a retail and commercial space:


· Camilo José Vergara [official]
· Camilo José Vergara Photographs: Tracking Time to Document America's Post-Industrial Cities [LOC]
· Bringing Time-Lapse Photo Studies Into Real Time, Online [NYT]