Abandoned Kansas City

If a camera shutter clicks and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Regina Daniel most likely knows the answer to this question, as she spends a lot of her time photographing abandoned places. In Abandoned Kansas City Volume II, out last fall, the Kansas City photographer explores forgotten locales all around the city, from defunct churches to an elementary school, to terminal A of the city’s once futuristic airport.

In some cases, as with the Kansas City airport and the mansion she documents in chapter nine, Regina is among the last people to set foot inside structures she brings to light. Her photos help tell a story about the life cycle of buildings, cities, and humans. The photos in this book sometimes possess an eerie mood; the pages are replete with peeling paint and exposed wiring hanging down from decaying ceilings. Other images, such as the photo of the auditorium at Ladd Elementary, which is on the book’s cover, seem to depict a venue that is only temporarily abandoned, as though any moment an audience could come streaming through its doors to see a pageant there.

Beyond the photos, Regina has also provided a good deal of context about the places she photographs. Readers will find information on when the buildings were originally built, who built them, and how they came to be abandoned. The book serves dual purposes then, one part art gallery and one part people’s history of a changing city.

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