Speedway in Tucson AZ lives as a lifeline that runs east/west, connecting the entire city. In the early 1900s, it was home for many horseless carriage races, reaching blistering speeds of up to 20mph. In 1970, LIFE magazine gave the glorious title of “ugliest street in America” to Speedway. Directly referencing Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip, I decided to document a two-mile midtown section of Speedway, extending from Alvernon to about Craycroft. Photographing both the east and west sides of the road, this resulted in over 400 images. Originally, I envisioned this project to be in book-form, and so I created a mock-up hardcover accordian book that contains 56 images that summarize the project, but in the future I hope to create the entire set.
    Driving down this road, it’s clear many of these businesses are local, some struggling to get through the still-raging pandemic that has affected them for over a year at this point. Through this project, I want the viewer to get this “time-capsule” glimpse of this historic street, in all its glory, good and ugly.  More than 100 years later, this street is now home to many businesses and restaurants but still has this reflection of a car driven society. This street offers a glimpse into our late-stage capitalistic society. Construction seems to never end, either something is getting torn down, or built back up. The “ugliest street in America” does not reflect what Tucson has become, instead it reflects what our country is. Ruled by money and greed, deadly expansion rips into our beautiful communities and landscapes, displacing all that live there.

    I'll leave this with a quote from Frank Gohlke, “Throughout a lifetime, whether our track seems meandering or straight, we are constantly in motion, getting on with things, going somewhere. But where? At moments along the path we want to know how far we’ve come; it occurs to us to look left and right. In one direction, there is still far to go, as far as when we started; in the other direction is a place that we have always thought was behind us. It’s been at our shoulder the whole way. Has the center traveled with us, or have we been walking in place as the world flows by.” With that being said, I’ll call this project... 

The Loathsome Road