Wharf Street Puddle
Wharf Street, one of the most picturesque scenes in Maine, gets its name from the fact that it used to be on Portland's waterfront, home of the wharves that brought in many tons of trade from across the world. Fore Street occupied the same function Commercial Street does today. So how did it get there? In the 1800's the land behind Fore Street was filled in for several hundred yards out into Portland Harbor, making it possible for establishments like DiMillo's, RiRa's, and Chandler's Wharf to exist today.
I've been wanting to get a good shot of this street for a while. It's a great nightlife spot (I used to party here in my crazy days), but is under the threat of massive gentrification. Under current proposals, six of the buildings currently lining this section of the street would be demolished and replaced by taller, more modern buildings, with a large metal skywalk connecting them across Wharf Street. Now, I am all for change and modernization. These properties were foreclosed on in 2011 and bought at auction. However, I think that maintaining the historic context and character of this street is extremely important to the City of Portland and all of Maine, for that matter. A large metal skywalk just doesn't do it for me.
My role as a photographer is primarily one of being an observer, but I believe we all advocate our values in our choice of subjects and presentation. I value community and a sense of place, two values that seem to be under constant threat in our modern world of connected disconnection and fast-food, big-box, retail chain stores everywhere you go.