“Washington Avenue: Forgotten to Gentrified”

Photographer Robert Sennhauser documents the transformation a near-downtown neighborhood

Washington Avenue’s been many things over the years. A market road, an immigrant enclave, low-rent bar row, club haven and, in the near future, townhouse alley near downtown. Photographer Robert Sennhauser’s show “Washington Avenue: Forgotten to Gentrified” documents the current transformation of the area as nondescript town homes and condos overtake the neighborhood, forcing out long-term residents. The exhibit includes Sennhauser’s taped interviews with residents and business owners, including Guadalajara Bakery and Taco’s Blanca Chavez, who describes growing up in the neighborhood, working at the family business for more than 30 years, and now, being on the brink of losing their locations. (The bakery is currently the only building left on its block; the rest have been razed for new construction.) Made up of composite photos, portraits of residents, short essays and taped interviews, “Forgotten to Gentrified” captures the state of Washington Avenue in flux. As Chavez says, the change will be good for some people and not for others. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through June 13. Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main. For information, 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.

Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: June 1. Continues through June 13, 2009

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