New photography exhibition focuses on the ‘Historic Apartments on Capitol Hill’

The Bering

The Bering

Seattle University student Lana Blinderman will share images of Capitol Hill’s old — and oftentimes, endangered — mid-twentieth century apartment buildings as part of the 2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Photography Exhibition showcasing the work of graduating students:

In Places We Keep, Lana Blinderman spends her time in the company of beautiful buildings. She is often spotted carrying a heavy camera and a tripod around her neighborhood while photographing notable early and mid-twentieth century apartments. In a rapidly changing urban landscape, the dirty words “gentrification” and “displacement” invade our lives, neighborhoods, and conversations. Blinderman draws attention to the beauty and historic character of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Through her fine documentary images, we are asked to consider the implications of urban redevelopment. 

Blinderman tells CHS the photographs on display starting with Thursday night’s reception represent only a small portion of the images of the legendary old buildings she has captured around Capitol Hill.

“I did fall in love with many of the buildings and would love to live in some of them someday, like La Crosse, Kingshire or Chardonnay, to name a few,” Blinderman told CHS. “One of my biggest inspirations was Diana James‘ book ‘Shared Walls’ and her neighborhood tour; it certainly gave me an appreciation of these buildings’ history beyond visual pleasure.”

Blinderman says that the fate of one building in particular causes her the greatest pain of coming loss. “One building that is not included in the show but really broke my heart is Ruth Court at 133 18th Ave E,” she writes. “It is going to be demolished and replaced with a much larger building. So sorry to see such beauty and character go away.” CHS wrote about the Ruth Court development here.

Blinderman is also lucky enough to have found a home in one of the buildings she loves. “I have just renewed my lease for a studio in an early 20th century brick apartment building,” she writes.”

Places We Keep – Historic Apartments on Capitol Hill
Seattle University 2014 BFA Exhibition
Reception: Thursday, May 22, 5:00 to 8:00 PM
May 22 to June 14 in the Vachon Gallery, Seattle University Fine Arts Building
Gallery hours: weekdays, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

10 thoughts on “New photography exhibition focuses on the ‘Historic Apartments on Capitol Hill’

  1. Thank You, Lana. I walk by these fine structures and I do so enjoy their presence and history. I also worry about some of them when the eventual “big one” occurs, especially The Biltmore and accompanying structures across the street, aware that in that event some of the least attractive new structures would more than likely be left standing. I’m glad you’re helping document the old beauties.

  2. Lana: Maybe lugging around heavy gear wears at your patience, but if you put a little more love into your compositions, these shots could look a lot better. If your goal was to make these buildings look as great as you feel about them, it’s probably best not to include a a road in need of some serious repair in the foreground. The underexposed B&W look also adds a creepiness to the photos. Maybe you wanted an abandoned vibe to your photos, but if your goal is to preserve these buildings, it left me with quite the opposite effect.

      • Sarcasm aside JT, I mean no disrespect to Lana. B&W architecture is one of the most compositionally demanding paths in photography. If you take photos of people, the ‘performance’ of your subjects are so overwhelming to viewer, the composition hardly gets recognition. If the only thing to look at in a photo is a building, people pay attention to line, tone, texture, and ratios. When these are off, they stick out like a sore thumb.

      • You know that scene in “Dead Poets Society” in which the students are reading a textbook section titled “What is Poetry?” and then the teacher (Robin Williams) instructs them to rip out the section? You sound like that section.

      • Erik could have phrased his comments differently, but I think he was just trying to provide some “constructive criticism,” which most artists welcome. Give him a break.

  3. I am a long time resident of Capitol Hill and have spent many years admiring the collection of beautiful buildings we have here. I am all for prosperity and growth, but it often seems that the developers are replacing the very buildings that make Capitol Hill what it is, and undermining the history that made this neighborhood the place we all love so much. I am really looking forward to seeing this show, and I hope many others will see it too. If we can keep alive the beauty and maintain an appreciation of those who built these wonderful buildings, maybe we can, as a neighborhood, somehow maintain our identity and soul through this time of such great change.

  4. I went to the exhibition last night. There are some talented artists at SU.
    Lana, if you are out there, you have truly captured the cultural Zeitgeist of Cap. Hill. Fifty years from now, yours may be the only record of some of these gems. I especially like ‘The Laurelton.’ Are you carry by a local gallery?

  5. Thank you all for your interest in my project! The image doesn’t do justice to the print quality, but the article gets the message across very well. This work is about the beauty of the buildings, how they fit in their surroundings, and the need to urgently preserve this neighborhood’s character.

    A big thank you to all who went and saw the exhibition at SU. I am self-represented right now but will be showing this work at other venues around town.