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Michael Hyatt's Photography
Fifth & Wall Street 1972-1984 portfolio
5TH & WALL STREET, LOS ANGELES 1972-1984
Photographs by Michael Hyatt
DESCRIPTION & SAMPLE PHOTOS

I began photographing on Skid Row in Los Angeles in 1972 in an effort to understand why my alcoholic grandfather kept going there, and then again after returning from Boston in 1974. It was then that I had the opportunity to work on a documentary film that Charles Pavlich was making about two residents of the Chapman Hotel on the corner of 5th and Wall Street. One of them was Leonard Graham, a chain smoker and heavy drinker, who did great imitations of country music star Hank Williams. During filming I meet and photograph many of the other hotel residents, including Torchy and her neighbors. One was sad-eyed Mona, the hotel housekeeper. Another was Bastillo, who shared a room with his disabled wife and dog. Ray also shared a room with his dog. Skid Row was a magnet back then for alcoholics who live on Social Security in cheap hotels like the Chapman. By 1984 many of America’s poor were homeless and living on the street or in vacant lots, like Jessie was doing when I met him. Now in the 2020s the center of Skid Row, at 5th & Wall Street, reflects an epidemic of homelessness like never seen before.


SAMPLE PHOTOS

Bastillo's Room - Hotel Chapman (5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles, 1979
Bastillo's Room - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Leonard Graham, Hotel Chapman (5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles, 1975
Leonard Graham - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1975

 

Mona - Hotel Chapman (5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles, 1979
Mona - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Man Approaching 5th & Wall Street – Los Angeles 1972
Man Approaching 5th & Wall Street
Los Angeles 1972

 

Man Approaching 5th & Wall Street – Los Angeles 1972)
Café, Mission, Bar, Blood Bank
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1972

 

Delux Hotel & Paddy Wagon – 5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979
Delux Hotel & Paddy Wagon
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Corner of 5th & Wall Street (Los Angeles, 1976)
Corner of 5th & Wall Street
Los Angeles 1976

 

Torchy – Chapman Hotel 1979
Torchy - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Ray & Tippy – Chapman Hotel 1979
Ray & Tippy - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Barbara & Dino – Chapman Hotel 1979
Barbara & Dino - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Bluesman 1979
Bluesman
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

The Neighborhood 1974
The Neighborhood
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1974

 

Remains of a Demolished Bar 1974
Remains of a Demolished Bar
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1974

 

Chapman Hotel Lobby 1979
Chapman Hotel Lobby
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Larry's Room Chapman Hotel 1979
Larry's Room - Chapman Hotel
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1979

 

Jessie's Home 1984
Jessie's Home
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1984

 

Demolition on the NW Corner of 5th & Wall Street 1975
Demolition on the NW Corner of 5th & Wall Street
Los Angeles 1975

 

Disappearing Railroad Blues 1977
Disappearing Railroad Blues
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1977

 

Cityscape(5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles, 1977)
Cityscape
5th & Wall Street, Los Angeles 1977

 

City Hall From 5th & Wall Street
City Hall from 5th & Wall Street
Los Angeles 1975

 

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