America’s Fading Main Streets

The Main Street project is a reflection on what we've lost as a culture and nation. More than just a physical location, Main Street represents a state of mind, a civility and decency that has gone missing in the United States, replaced by a soulless existence of big commerce where we're pushed to buy ever more things but interact with others around us less intimately, if at all.

America’s Fading Main Streets was first published in The Daily Beast and supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit dedicated to journalism about inequality.

Shendoah, PA.   Shenandoah was a proud town that came into its own in the 1920s, the street having movie theaters and places where people could buy nice clothing and jewelry. Residents told me that the sidewalk became so crowded on Saturday afternoons that it was impossible to stand still because of the flow of the crowd.

Shendoah, PA.

Shenandoah was a proud town that came into its own in the 1920s, the street having movie theaters and places where people could buy nice clothing and jewelry. Residents told me that the sidewalk became so crowded on Saturday afternoons that it was impossible to stand still because of the flow of the crowd.

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Shendoah, PA

Shendoah, PA

Various towns

Vacated family businesses.

Brownsville, PA   Of all the towns I photographed I thought that Brownsville was the most elegant and desolate (it's home to a lovely and ornate train station, far right, that is now crumbling) which made it all the more sad because it made me think of what our national priorities are. It's inconceivable that we spend trillions on wars and billions bailing out Wall Street but that these important parts of our country and ultimately individuality are just left to rot.

Brownsville, PA

Of all the towns I photographed I thought that Brownsville was the most elegant and desolate (it's home to a lovely and ornate train station, far right, that is now crumbling) which made it all the more sad because it made me think of what our national priorities are. It's inconceivable that we spend trillions on wars and billions bailing out Wall Street but that these important parts of our country and ultimately individuality are just left to rot.

 
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Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA   Brownsville was a steel and manufacturing town. When those industries started faltering in the 1970s so too did their community.

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville was a steel and manufacturing town. When those industries started faltering in the 1970s so too did their community.

Shendoah, PA

Shendoah, PA

Brownsville, PA   "This was found in a storefront window of the abandoned Union Station."

Brownsville, PA

"This was found in a storefront window of the abandoned Union Station."

 
Petersburg, VA

Petersburg, VA

 
Welch, West Virginia

Welch, West Virginia

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Welch, West Virginia   Welch, W VA Note: there are 2 streets can can be called Main Streets in this town. The one pictured here is Mc Dowell St.

Welch, West Virginia

Welch, W VA Note: there are 2 streets can can be called Main Streets in this town. The one pictured here is Mc Dowell St.

Various towns

Shenandoah, PA

Shenandoah, PA

Petersburg, VA

Brownsville, PA

Brownsville, PA