Teri Darnell Photography

 

'Cheshire Bridge Road' is an alluring look into a diverse southern urban community within Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1998, I moved into a neighborhood connected to Cheshire Bridge Road. The one-mile road is locally known as Atlanta’s Red-Light District because of its many strip clubs, gay bars, and adult novelty stores. In 2005, I began walking up and down this infamous historic road, capturing the lives of people, and the places they belong.

Cheshire Bridge Road is not a mixed-use or planned urban community. The land skirts the high-rise buildings in midtown Atlanta. For decades, building leases have been affordable to the many small business owners whose patrons frequent the clubs, locally owned restaurants, antique shops, and numerous eclectic small businesses. Until recently, this road offered places for people to freely express themselves regardless of gender, race, and sexual orientation.

Atlanta is a car community, and Cheshire Bridge Road has a side-walk, but few people use it. After years of walking this road, and experiencing an overwhelming amount of rejections to photograph people on the streets and inside the establishments, people began to unfold their stories to me. I slowly established a presence and trust through persistence, and not giving up. Twelve years later, I am able to reveal the humanity of an edgy diverse community in the south that is quickly disappearing.

Cheshire Bridge Road is suffering from an explosion of redevelopment. Many historic places are being demolished and replaced with ‘luxury’ high-rise apartments, storage facilities, and chain stores. This unique community is becoming extinct before of my eyes. Soon, the diversity along the road will no longer exist, and its soul lost forever.

Cheshire Bridge Road

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