reinforcing the renaissance of a St. Louis district through color

“Make a photograph in which the nature of the subject or the mood of the scene is enhanced by color. Color should reinforce the ideas suggested by your subject, setting and the actions depicted.” These phrases are what has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks. They are description for our pictorial assignment for J4556. This is one of those assignments where I think it is more difficult to seek out photographing color and letting the assignment come to you. Last weekend, as I was taking photos Cherokee-Lemp Historic District, I noticed how color was such an important part of the area.

For those who haven’t been, the Cherokee District is an vibrant area of South City flourishing with a multiculturalism, unique architecture and creative influences that are making it one of the more booming areas of the city. With more electric street car lines built during the 1890s the Cherokee District became a hub for retail stores. Eventually street cars were discontinued in the 1950s and the area tried to adjust to car and bus traffic. In addition more of the population moved out of the city to the county and as a result the Cherokee businesses suffered. Like most of the decaying areas of St. Louis, what merely remains today are the aged buildings and reminiscences of a better time. As crime and the migration to the county increased, the aspects of what made the city of St. Louis unique became ignored and isolated. While many of original buildings still stood, new incoming proprietors and the immigrant population whom stayed made the Cherokee District their own.

As I walked up and down Cherokee Street it became apparent to me how important color is to the newly evolved renaissance of the Cherokee District in connection to a city that aged, decayed and losing support from it’s own. While I would like to go back and try and photograph this better, I tried show this in photos I took that day. The one I have pictured is a mexican restaurant called Neveria La Vallesana. It’s a favorite among many in the area, as well as residents outside of city lines. It’s vibrant colors and popularity of many peoples’ favorite restuarant in the area in contrast with the non refurbished buildings in the area is one reason why I wanted to photograph it. I would like to go back and try to include decayed buildings in a photo, but for right now this is what I got. This could even be a project I would like to further work on as the Cherokee District, and South City in general, is one of my favorite areas of St. Louis.

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