Sometime, in order to see just how far we have come, we must look back at where we once were. Take Chippewa Street for example. The former red light district might have had a couple of bright spots, but for the most part it was pretty run down – the buildings, and the homeless and vagrants who frequented the street. Mostly lined with topless bars, Chippewa was not one of the most flattering districts in our city. Drunks could be found passed out on various stoops. Pawn stores, liquor stores and seedy hotels were commonplace. For some people, it was considered “alive”. For others, it was considered dangerous. It all depends on who you talk to.
In 1975, as part of a high school project, Charlie Hahn conducted a photographic essay of Chippewa. At that point, he never could have known just how valuable those images would be. Not only did they help to encourage the young photographer to brandish his camera for years to come, he also managed to capture an era of Buffalo that tells a story that words alone can not express.
On Saturday, October 1, Hahn will be hosting a Grand Opening for his fascinating photographic essay at Spot Coffee on Delaware Avenue between 4pm and 8pm. The show is open to the public to attend. This is a rare glimpse into the history of the city, some good and some not so good. Check out the incredible Fisherman’s Wharf building, and all of the beautiful vintage signs that once graced the street.
We live in a time when everyone has a camera at any given moment. Back then, that was not the case. These historic images are a real gem.
Chippewa Street 1975 – A Photographic Essay
Exhibit by Charles Hahn
Grand Opening – Saturday, October 1, 2016
Spot Coffee | 227 Delaware Avenue | Buffalo NY