When I first moved to Northern Virginia in 1969, Tysons Corner had just opened,
and theWashington and Old Dominion Railroad had just been abandoned. When I
drove from my apartment in Arlington to Falls Church, there was no I 66. While
traveling up Route 7 through Falls Church, Leesburg Pike narrowed to three
lanes about where I 66 now intersects the highway.
In a sense, I wished I had started this project years ago, before development had
begun to take away old properties along the main drags of Falls Church, namely
Broad and Washington Streets. However, better late than never.
So my goal is to capture Falls Church in transition. This project follows in the
tradition of other photographers. Eugène Atget documented the streets of Paris at
the beginning of the 20th century. Influenced by the work of Atget, Berenice
Abbott documented the streets of New York City, while Walker Evans, similarly
influenced by the work of Atget, documented small midwestern towns during the
great depression. That tradition has been carried on in the last half of the
twentieth by more contemporary photographers, like Stephen Shore and Lee
Friedlander. Would that I had their talent.
Following my retirement from government service, I have turned my lifelong passion for photography into a second career. I also teach photography in the Adult Education Program of the Arlington Public School System. My portfolio can be viewed at my Pbase site, www.pbase.com/jcassatt.