I shot these photographs at the former El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, California. The base was abandoned in 1999. There was a long fight about what should happen to the land. Talk of an international airport was abundant, but the people living around the base voted it down. Noise, traffic, and pollution were concerns. Now, the Great Park is taking form here instead. Once finished, the Great Park will be much larger than Central Park in New York City. The Great Park already has artist studios, an art gallery, outdoor meeting court for concerts and events, hot air balloon rides, a farmer’s market and gardens, and much more.
The above photo was captured in June of 2010. Mark Chamberlain is part of the Legacy Project, a group of men who turned an airplane hangar into the largest camera obscura in the world. The resulting photograph, titled The Great Picture is 3 stories high by 11 stories long. See my blog about washing The Great Picture. The Legacy Project continues to document the transformation of El Toro Marine Base into the Great Park.
The picture above was taken from a height of 400 feet in the hot air balloon. You can see the entire panorama of the city of Irvine from the top of the balloon. View more of this series on my website. Do you have any photos of abandoned buildings? Please share them.