Middle School Hallway Mural

A patriotic mural in a middle school hallway depicting a bald eagle and American flag with the word Pride superimposed over the flag.
Patriotic mural in a school hallway.

This is a mural in a hallway at Blackhawk Middle School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Further down the hall, the mural has the words “Sportsmanship” and “Character” over shooting stars.

See more photographs of Patriotism in Indiana

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Unsafe and Unfit For Human Occupancy

A condemnation notice from the city government is taped to the front door of Team Auto Group, a used car lot on Bluffton Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A car-window American flag hangs upside-down from the mailbox next to the door.
Condemnation notice on Team Auto Group used car lot Fort Wayne

A condemnation notice from the Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code Enforcement office is taped to the entrance to Team Auto Group, a now-closed used car dealer on Bluffton Road, between Sandpoint Road and Engle Road, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The sign says that the building is “Unsafe and unfit for human occupancy.” I wonder what is wrong with it? The building looks well-maintained on the outside. The American flag hanging from the mailbox is made to mount on the top of a car window.

This place has been home to several used-car dealers over the years. I photographed it a few years ago, when it was called Freedom motors. I madee this photo last week.

See more photographs of Patriotism in Indiana

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Be An Original

A bulletin board in a middle school computer lab that says, Be An Original A Copy Is Never Worth As Much.
Be an original – A copy is never worth as much

This is a computer lab at Lakeside Middle School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As an artist and a literature teacher, I liked the message on the bulletin board:

“Be an original. A copy is never worth as much. Don’t plagiarize.”

The teacher who posted it probably intended to discourage kids from copying essays from the internet when writing research papers, but the message is important for the kids on a more personal level as well. It can be incredibly difficult to get kids, especially middle schoolers, to think for themselves, to live their own lives according to their own desires and needs. They are so concerned with ‘fitting in’ with the rest of the crowd that they sacrifice something far more important than their social lives.

See more photographs of Fort Wayne

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Vacant Storefront on Broadway

An American flag hangs in one of the front windows of a vacant storefront at the corner of Broadway and Huestis Avenue in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
American flag in a vacant storefront window on Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

This vacant building stands on the southeast corner of Broadway and Huestis Avenue in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is across the street from Broadway Joe’s Tavern.

It has been home to a long list of short-lived businesses over the years, including a laundromat, a clothing store, and a Hispanic music and video store. Most recently it was home to Alley Kat Ink, a tattoo shop that had originally been located on South Calhoun Street.

I photographed it last Thursday, right after I photographed the broken playhouse nearby.

See more photographs of Patriotism in Indiana

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Broken Playhouse

A broken childrens Little Tykes playhouse laying on its side in an overgrown yard.
Broken plastic Little Tykes playhouse.

I found this Little Tykes child’s playhouse, broken and laying on its side, in the backyard of a house on the north side of Grace Avenue, just east of Broadway, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

These plastic playhouses are very popular toys; it seems like everyone in Fort Wayne with a kid and a backyard has one. They’re rather expensive, so I was surprised to see one in this condition.

See more photographs of Fort Wayne

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Walking Pizza Slice!

A man wearing a Pizza Slice costume while holding a Papa Johns sign on Bluffton Road in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Man in a Pizza costume holding a Papa Johns advertisement.

A few days before I made this photograph, Little Caesar’s Pizza opened a new location on Bluffton Road in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The restaurant is a couple of blocks south of a Papa John’s Pizza location, so Papa John’s has had a man dressed as a giant walking pizza slice holding a sign across the street from the new Little Caesar’s store!

Am I the only one who thinks that it is strange that a slice of pizza is encouraging people to eat pizzas?

I photographed him last Wednesday evening.

See more photographs of Fort Wayne

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Sterling Hall Sr.

Sterling Hall Senior sitting in a wheelchair in the entrance to his house. His little white dog stands under the chair.
Sterling Hall Sr. sitting in his doorway with his tiny dog

I met Sterling Hall Sr. after photographing another place near his house. I’d parked my car across the street from his house on High Street, just west of Runnion Avenue on Fort Wayne’s west side.

As I was walking back to my car, his tiny white dog, Dot, began hysterically barking and snarling at me. I said to the dog; “My cat could eat you!” I used to have a 23lb cat who liked to terrorize dogs.

Mr. Hall was sitting in a wheelchair in the front doorway of his house, so I went up and started talking to him. He asked me why I was taking pictures, and I told him about my work documenting life in Fort Wayne. He asked me to take a picture of him.

While I was photographing him, he told me that he had recently had his right leg amputated.

See more photographs of Fort Wayne

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Former United Brethren Church in Ossian

Two old metal motel chairs sit in front of the doors at the top of the front steps of a former United Brethren church on Mill Street in the small town of Ossian, Indiana.
A pair of old metal motel chairs in front of a former church in Ossian, Indiana.

This is a former United Brethren Church in the small town of Ossian, Indiana. The brick church, built in 1889, is located on the north side of Mill Street, just west of Church Street. It is now a private residence.

I photographed it last Thursday afternoon.

See more photographs of Motel Chairs

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Salvation Army Dollar Store

The Salvation Army Thrift Store at Quimby Village Shopping Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A banner on the two-story brick building says that all items in the store sell for one Dollar.
A Salvation Army Thrift Store where everything is one Dollar

A few years ago, the Salvation Army closed this store in the Quimby Village Shopping Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The store was moved to a new location in the Southgate Plaza Shopping Center.

Recently, the store at Quimby Village reopened with a banner over the door that says all items in the store sell for just one Dollar.

I photographed it yesterday morning.

See more photographs of Fort Wayne

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Rainbow Over the US-24/I-69 Interchange

A rainbow between two clouds in the evening sky over the US-24 and I-69 interchange in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Rainbow over a freeway interchange Monday evening in Fort Wayne, Indiana

My son and I went out to dinner at the Bob Evans restaurant at The Village At Coventry shopping center in Fort Wayne yesterday evening. As we got out of the car, I saw this rainbow in the sky over the US-24/I-69 interchange just south of where we stood.

It lasted less than a minute, just long enough for me to set my camera and make three quick exposures. This was the first, and the best, of them.

See more photographs of Fort Wayne

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.