Fred Bower

7 Years: Tire America to CVS Pharmacy
color photograph
6.5 x 8.5 in.

The architectural landscape changes at the speed of commerce. Buildings aren’t built for durability or sustainability, they’re built to be temporary and easily dismantled. Recently I found myself in front of a Cineplex and touched the wall only to find that it was constructed of an industrial foam core, meant to withstand weather for a period, and then to be easily torn down when the Complex was to be transformed into its next consumer conception.

This is a continuation of principles of structures such as those built for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where a majestic city was created that was to only last a summer. Now this principle is all around us. Our landscape is built for change, not from one majestic incarnation to another, but from one consumer whim to the next, based on directives dreamed up by marketing departments and businesses. Often I find myself passing construction embryos as they’re emerging on the side of overdeveloped strips of vehicle arteries, and I have trouble remembering what was there before, after it had existed there for ten or twenty years.

© Fred Bower