For the past six months I have been very fortunate to be granted the opportunity to showcase the Louisville Waterfront Park and it’s latest addition the Big Four Bridge. The “Crown Jewel” of the park was the conversion of the abandoned Big Four Railway Bridge which has now been rescued from it’s former status as “The Bridge to Nowhere” and given new life as an intercity/interstate connection for pedestrians and bicyclists in Louisville Kentucky and Jeffersonville Indiana. I recorded not only the final five months of the construction project but also the men who did the hard physical labor that it required. Throughout that time I created a photographic record of these men, their names and their accomplishments, which is going into the Waterfront Development Corp. archives.
My goal, from the first day I set foot on the project, was to record and preserve the faces and the names of these men so that future generations would know who they were and what they looked like. I feel that too often in our society we overlook the contribution that labor makes to the success of great civic projects like Waterfront Park; I envisioned an archive that would allow them to be remembered as a significant part of the history of the Big Four Bridge. Their dedication to their trades as Ironworkers, Carpenters, Equipment Operators, Laborers and Bridge Builders shows in every facet of the bridge. I hope that their pride in, and love for, the Big Four Bridge will never be forgotten and that in some small way my photos will celebrate these men.
From my involvement with this aspect of Louisville Waterfront Park I decided that I wanted to stay involved with the park and continue to share my images of Louisville Waterfront Park with the City of Louisville. When Ms. Margaret Walker asked if I was interested in a continued partnership with the Waterfront Development Corporation I immediately said yes. After conferring with the President of the Waterfront Development Corporation, Mr. David Karem, and Ms. Walker we agreed that I would continue to record and share my images of the continued evolution of the park and the activities that take place there with the Waterfront Development Corporation and the public through the Waterfront Park Photo Archives.
Yesterday Margaret Walker announced our partnership with the following press release:
“The Waterfront Development Corporation is pleased to partner with photographer Nick Roberts on his photo documentation of the workings of Waterfront Park. Nick’s series of photos of the last five months of construction of the Big Four Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge are an invaluable resource and an important addition to Waterfront Park’s photo archives. We look forward to continuing this partnership as Nick captures an ongoing behind-the-scenes look at Waterfront Park construction, operation and events.”
I look forward with anticipation to the future of Louisville Waterfront Park and the opportunity to share my images and feelings with my fellow Louisvillians for years to come.