Monday, November 18, 2013

1970s Photographer Publishes Book, Returns For First Time In 40 Years

Last summer, Uptown Update found out about a website of photos taken in Uptown during the mid 1970s by photographer Robert Rehak.  We shared it, and Mr. Rehak began adding photos and descriptions to his site, many of which we linked to on our Facebook page.  His photos show almost unimaginable poverty, an Uptown that is truly decrepit, and countless ways in which the human spirit shines through.
From the L, I caught glimpses of streets littered with garbage, broken pavement, flop houses, winos sleeping on sidewalks, stripped and abandoned cars, buildings covered with gang graffiti, plus day labor agencies, taverns, pawn shops, and resale stores stretching to infinity.

On Wednesday, his book Uptown: Portrait of a Chicago Neighborhood In the mid-1970's will be published and available through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $25.93 (paperback) and $38.98 (hardcover).  It's 272 pages long and features information for photographers as well as Mr. Rehak's recollections of the neighborhood and his times here. Many of the photos that are featured on his website will be included.

According to an interview in DNAinfo, Mr. Rehak will appear at the Uptown Library (929 W Buena) and speak about the book on Thursday, November 21st, between 4pm and 5:30pm.  He says it's his first trip back in nearly 40 years.  What changes he will see, both in the community and its residents!  We look forward to the opportunity to hear him speak and to own the book that shows our community at a very low point in its evolution.


  1. This guy Bob Rehak really caught Uptown people in the 70s.Great pics -really.Welcome back Bob.

  2. Great pictures (check out the link and further link to his site)! Interesting to see how little has changed in Uptown, while in other aspects, how much has changed in Uptown. Thank you for sharing!