McClellan Street.
March 15, 2008 7:49 AM   Subscribe

"These photographs of McClellan Street by David and Peter Turnley, taken in 1972-73, help us understand how America came to be the country that it is today." — John G. Morris
posted by chunking express (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
"McClellan Street is a gem of photographic documentation. Though the street itself is now an extended parking lot, its spirit, and the spirit of those times, lives on in this book."
posted by mecran01 at 8:04 AM on March 15, 2008

Aw. America ain't so bad. Especially if these people, as John G. Morris says, are the "underclass."
posted by Faze at 8:08 AM on March 15, 2008

Interesting pictures, but I really don't see the explanation of the path of american civilisation that he claims it portrays. It just looks like some nice shots to me.

What am I missing?
posted by Brockles at 8:11 AM on March 15, 2008

look like normal peeps to me. could have been my hometown in the 70's
posted by billybobtoo at 8:11 AM on March 15, 2008

Interesting timing on this..

It happens that I spent Thursday afternoon with Peter Turnley, he was kind enough to spend a few hours at the alternative education program I work at talking to our kids about photography, war, growing up, struggles, danger, self assurance, pride, dignity and self respect...

Our kids found meaning as he talked about how being in a tough spot, being poor, being hungry, didn't mean that you couldn't maintain your sense of who you are and your pride....

In addition to his McClellan Street photos (Part of the fascination of the McClellan photos are that these were done when Peter and his brother were in high school...) , Peter showed photos from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and other locations... Including some of the first shots on the ground at the World Trade Center on 911. Peter has done over 40 Newsweek front covers during his career.

The blog post I did yesterday has a few more links to his work....
posted by HuronBob at 8:23 AM on March 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

where is this street?
posted by MNDZ at 8:24 AM on March 15, 2008

Reminds me of myself in 1975 (age 8).
posted by stbalbach at 8:26 AM on March 15, 2008

oh, fort wayne
posted by MNDZ at 8:27 AM on March 15, 2008

Reminds me of myself in 1975 (age 8).

Sorry for the cheap shot, but are you related to Timmy Lupus?
posted by jsavimbi at 8:29 AM on March 15, 2008

"could have been my hometown in the 70's"

Yeah, it looks a lot like the neighborhood in which I grew up, too. I guess I just didn't realize at the time that I was part of the underclass. Those kids don't look like they know it either.

Now that I know, I can always comfort myself with the knowledge that at least we could afford color.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:37 AM on March 15, 2008

Nthing my hometown (Malden MA) growing up in the 1970s. Looks like my friends, neighbors and family. Pretty awesome for a couple of 17 year olds!
posted by Scoo at 9:25 AM on March 15, 2008

This makes me so sad that my kids are never going to know the joy of playing out in the street in their underpants and not getting in trouble for it.
posted by padraigin at 9:35 AM on March 15, 2008

you could plop that street down in the middle of some neighborhoods in battle creek or kalamazoo and no one would notice - i'm real puzzled about "how it came to be the country that it is today", though

there were neighborhoods and houses like that in the 1910s and 1920s - if there's a real change, it's that some of them, like this one, were torn down for parking lots and business buildings when they got too run down and people moved to another neighborhood or an apartment building

the photos are fine - but it's puzzling that something so mundane to me is presented as a museum piece of "those times"
posted by pyramid termite at 9:45 AM on March 15, 2008

Previous MeFi thtread on Peter Turnley.
posted by ericb at 9:58 AM on March 15, 2008

Has there ever been a time ion American history--or the history of just about any nation--when there has not been an "underclass"?
posted by Postroad at 11:17 AM on March 15, 2008

Well, there was a brief interval - maybe from the '40s to the '70s? - when we believed that the "underclass" were Americans, too. And not some scary Other.

And that looks a lot like the Summer of '73 in my own rustbelt city, too. I got out of high school that June.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 12:53 PM on March 15, 2008

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