As mentioned yesterday, I’ve been meaning to get to downtown Augusta with a camera for years. Actually, that not correct: I’ve been meaning to get to downtown Augusta . . . period. I’d never been there, despite living 130 miles away for almost two decades, despite having been nearby, despite — well, you get the idea.
So it was a pleasure to get to the home of Woodrow Wilson, James Brown, Jessye Norman, and countless others — and see a city a lot like so many others in the American South, a city that’s struggling with identity, history, vacancy, gentrification, and so many other issues prevalent in the 2020s.
One of them is the continued presence of a huge Confederate memorial, a shame in a majority-Black city — and just in front of the Lamar Building, soon to be luxury apartments. What message are Augusta, and its new luxury residents, sending?
Nonetheless, the day’s efforts resulted in some satisfying images, from architecture to neat details:
Augusta is a riverfront city I’m looking forward to returning to. In the meantime, please enjoy a total of 128 photographs in the newly-posted gallery.
Together with Columbus and Macon, Augusta is one of Georgia’s “Fall Line” cities, and is home to more than 200,000 people. Located on the eastern edge of the state on the Savannah River, it was founded by James Oglethorpe in 1736 on the site of a Native American river crossing.
Augusta has long been on the to-photograph list, but it’s just far enough away from Macon to make a quick, unplanned trip difficult — so this past weekend, when another trip was cancelled, I took advantage of the available time and made it happen.
Of course, rather than a quiet Sunday downtown, I ran headlong — no pun intended — into the Augusta Ironman marathon. There were crowded street corners, intersections closed aplenty, and a combination of competitors and supporters everywhere.
Nonetheless, it was a beautiful early-fall day in Georgia, and over the course of several hours, I really enjoyed photography in downtown Augusta — as usual, without people in the shots.
Excepting, of course, The Godfather of Soul:
The photostroll also included the Riverwalk, a stretch both at water level and atop the levee — doing my best to stay out of the runners’ way, moving around to the chants of “water!” and “ice!”
The first 64 photographs — part one of two — have been posted to the new Augusta gallery. Stay tuned for the second part, along with a bonus gallery and some housekeeping news, tomorrow.