Over the last year, Lana Blinderman has been snapping photos of historic apartment buildings around Capitol Hill. She’s on a mission to show off the beauty of older pieces in the hopes that developers will improve the visual quality of the neighborhood’s incoming structures. Now out of the darkroom, her film photography will be on display among the final projects of 11 students at Seattle University through June 14.
Here’s what Blinderman shared with The Capitol Hill Times about it:
Why historic apartments?
I moved to Capitol Hill relatively recently, and I was always interested in its historic architecture. I noticed how fast the neighborhood was changing; it’s almost like wherever I went there was a hole in the ground or a Notice of Land Use notice. So, I decided to do my project on the apartments in Capitol Hill, and to share the, in a sense, historic register – how apartments built in the early 20th century have visual interest to them, and how that contributes to the character of the neighborhood.
What has been your favorite part of this project? Did anything surprise you?
The methodology. I had to change the way that I photographed technically, like using deeper depths of field, but what surprised me was the wealth of architecture in this neighborhood. What broke my heart was that some of the buildings were slated to be demolished during the course of the project.
What do you think of the incoming, plain architecture in Capitol Hill?
I don’t think very well of it.
I wanted the photos to have a social message; I didn’t want it to be just about the beauty of architecture; although, to me, that alone, would be enough. I wanted to make an impact and bring awareness.
Not all of them are landmarks, but they’re so young architecturally, and unique that I think that we need to preserve what we have.
What I ended up doing was I met a lot of interesting people from the Community Council and local preservationists, and I started going to a lot of design reviews. That was a very enlightening thing for me – contributing my voice to make those new buildings look a little better than they usually do.
Blinderman’s show, “Places We Keep – Historic Apartments on Capitol Hill,” is showing in the Vachon Gallery located inside the Seattle University Fine Arts Building, at the north edge of the campus. Gallery hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. More information about Lana Blinderman is available at www.lanablinderman.com.