This is a very sad photo to see.
In September, I photographed Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth for Arkansas Business in front a pile of rubble. Literally, it's a pile of rubble. Today it still stands. And it will likely be there for months to come.
According to the article, "The city of Pine Bluff debated for months about what to do with the rubble from the privately owned buildings that collapsed in downtown earlier this year. Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said the owners of the buildings were willing to walk away from the properties instead of paying to remove the debris that had spilled into the street."
So the debris sits. And sits. And it's a very sad sight.
When I first moved to Arkansas in 1996, I moved to Pine Bluff. The daily newspaper, the Pine Bluff Commercial, was my first full-time photography job out of college. When it came to the ins and outs of the daily grind of a newspaper, I learned more in three months on the job than three years in college photojournalism. And I don't regret one single bit of it. I met many wonderful people, friends and reporters in that time. Many of which I still see and work with today.
But in the nearly 20 years that has passed since I first drove into Pine Bluff, things have changed. And not for the better. Over the years, Pine Bluff has seen a slow and steady decline in population and signs of urban decay is more common.
And it's very sad to see. Because when you look closely, you can see signs of the beauty in the architecture of what once was.