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Fifth and Wall Street -- Skid Row, Los Angeles in the 1970s
Fifth and Wall Street: Skid Row, Los Angeles in the 1970s
Photographs by Michael Hyatt and Charles Pavlich. Text by Gray George.


Photographers Hyatt and Pavlich met in Big Sur, California in 1968. Quickly discovering their mutual interest in photography, both gravitated to documentary projects on Skid Row related to alcoholism in their mutual family histories. Of that aspect, Gray George writes in the preface, “Both Pavlich and Hyatt were drawn to Skid Row for similar reasons. Pavlich lost his father to the Row, while Hyatt lost his grandfather. Skid Row was a part of Pavlich’s and Hyatt’s shared heritage. It was fitting that, as artists and humanists, Pavlich and Hyatt would explore Skid Row in tandem.” Although some individuals portrayed in the book were alcoholics, many were pensioners simply struggling to get by during tough economic times. Others had a variety of jobs supporting the community. Of their time there Hyatt and Pavlich write that “...we were struck by a certain irony. L.A.’s Wall Street, in the heart of Skid Row, was the polar opposite of New York City’s Wall Street... The disparity between the public squalor and desperation we witnessed and the symbols of capitalist prosperity at the other Wall Street became defining points in our efforts to document and interpret how personal finances, and even world economics, contributed to alcoholism in our families and in the lives of those we met on Skid Row.”


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