El Jardin

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El Jardin

Brownsville, Texas is a really old town. Its origins are way before the Civil War. It showed great promise being that it was right on the Mexican border. Unfortunately like most border towns it never really reached its potential.

Instead of taking the best of both cultures and running with it, the city fathers always seem to cater to the low end and keep the city buried in the past of old world Mexico.

A case in point is the El Jardin Hotel. This hotel was built in the late 20’s and was a pretty glamorous hotel at that time.  It is where Brownsville used to host many celebrities and movie stars.  However, as years went by, it became a symbol of Yankee decadence and slowly begins to deteriorate.  There had been plans to restore the place since the 90s but it is only now that the El Jardin Project started after Captain McCurry bought the place.

I thought the day I made this photograph was very appropriate. The gleaming white of the hotel contrasted against the stormy sky. The weather had been building up to a bad storm with dark skies and heavy clouds. But just as I finished setting up my 4X5 view camera for the shot the sun burst through a small hole in clouds and gave me this really neat lighting effect.

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