Daily Archives: March 9, 2008

Lithographing – 120 Prince Street, Soho NYC 2005

Lithographing - Prince Street
© Frank H. Jump

Lithographing – Manifold Books, Special Forms, Engraving

I took this shot at night in July 2005 while Vincenzo and I were walking with my buddy, anthropologist Dr. Andrew Irving through the streets of Soho. After looking at the reflection in the left window, it reminded me of Joseph Stella’s Brooklyn Bridge. So I dropped it in for posterity. I originally posted this image on the Fading Ad Campaign Website as one of Three Nonsequiturs.

Sunday’s Feature Fade: The Despair of Port Arthur, Texas – Robert Baptista

Port Arthur, Texas is a gritty, oil refinery town best known as the place where Janis Joplin grew up. The Procter Street downtown business area has sadly faded away along with Janis’ powerful voice. I hadn’t visited downtown in years, so I went there on February 11th with my Nikon N-90 film camera and three rolls of film.

These scenes convey the despair of downtown Port Arthur – which once thrived with department stores, office buildings, hotels, restaurants and night clubs. The area comes to life once a year for Mardi Gras weekend and then returns to its vacant ambiance. In the early 1990s, elaborate murals of historic scenes were painted on building walls, but these too are disappearing due to the relentless sun and rains of southeast Texas.

But some hope of economic redevelopment is stirring. The World Trade Building on Austin Avenue, an impressive structure built in 1928 with fine architectural details, is slated for conversion to a 170 unit apartment complex. And the Hotel Batiste is being considered for an adaptive reuse such as a school. The refineries in town have announced several billion dollars of expansions which will create jobs and give the local economy a boost. The gasoline you use in New York is most likely refined here.

– Robert Baptista (www.colorantshistory.org)

Civil War Mural
Civil War Wall Mural – Racial Harmony – Pt. Arthur, TX

Civil War Mural
Civil War Mural – Robert E. Lee – Pt. Arthur TX

City Limits - Proctor Street
Port Arthur City Limits – Kress Building – Proctor Street

Coca-Cola - Proctor Street
Coca-Cola, Proctor Street

Derelict Hotel Batiste
Derelict Hotel Batiste

Golden Light Social Club
Golden Light Social Club – Houston Avenue

Derelict Golden Steer Restaurant
Derelict Golden Steer Restaurant – Houston Avenue

Derelict Hotel Sabine
Derelict Hotel Sabine – Proctor Street

Jet Taxi - Houston Avenue
Jet Taxi – Houston Avenue

Loans - Proctor Street
Loans – Proctor Street

Meat & Bait
Meat & Bait – Ripped Apart by Hurricane Rita

Reckless Driving
Reckless Driving Billboard – Proctor Street

Texaco Station - Proctor Street
Texaco Station – Proctor Street

Verna's Club - Proctor Street
Verna’s Club – Proctor Street

World Trade Bldg - 1928 - Austin Ave
World Trade Building c. 1928 – Austin Avenue

© Robert Baptista