A few weeks ago, friend and fellow blogger BosGuy and I were meandering about United South End Artists Open Studios event – a weekend where local artists open up their work studios to the public. I have to say, I was incredibly surprised by just how many inspired artists there are in my neighborhood – I had absolutely no idea!
While I like paintings, my eye definitely gets turned on by photography. We stumbled on photographer Stephen Baumbach’s studio with his gorgeous landscapes and cityscapes of Boston and beyond (seriously, I’ve contemplated 20 purchases already), but what really stuck out was Baumbach’s “Pride Retrospective” – a collection of photographs from Boston Pride Parades over the years.
As we kept walking, we noticed a display on the wall of a man’s hand holding a postcard with different years on it, much like the one below. Needless to say, we were intrigued.
It turns out that the young artist behind the project is Mike Ritter of Ritterbin Photography. Mike is trying to collect photographs of cornerstones of different buildings in Boston throughout the years. I can’t begin to do the project justice, thankfully Mike provided a brief description of his project “Boston(s)” (see below). and then check out the photo gallery here. Mike also has a spreadsheet of all the locations – if you discover a cornerstone, fill in the spreadsheet for the appropriate year.
There’s something about this project that intrigues me. I’m not entirely sure why, but at the very least it has given me a new appreciation for cornerstones and their evolution over time. With as much history as Boston has, this is sure to be an interesting endeavor. Best of luck to Mike on completing it and telling an amazing story.
If you happen to be out and about in Boston this Memorial Day weekend, stop and take a look at some of the corners of the buildings you pass. If you find a cornerstone, take a picture and note the address of the building – and then help Mike out!
Boston(s) Photo Project by Mike Ritter of Ritterbin Photography
“Buildings is like people. I mean they got stories, and they got secrets to tell you. All you gotta do is look.” – Tony, Brinks Job
This project evolved out of a simple idea. I wanted to find a cornerstone for every year from 1900-present within Boston city lines. I began believing there was more to this idea than simply collecting 115 photographs of 115 Boston buildings.
Each building is a fragment of the time that created it. And, telling the story of each building would collectively begin telling the story of Boston itself. What was the original purpose of the building? What has it since become? Who used it in the past and who uses it now? On that note, another focus would be capturing people with some relationship with the building whether they live there, work there, or are just passing by.
This will not turn out as many other photo-essays on Boston seeking beauty and the well-known. Some notable buildings will make it into the project but the seeming randomness of what buildings have cornerstones will dictate a unique architectural collection. Hopefully it turns into a look at overlooked and well-known Boston buildings while remaining cohesive.