Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9781930066809 Published October 2008


The Flats, the Mill, and the Hills

Andrew Borowiec


Andrew Borowiec

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

With an Introduction by Les Roberts and a Conclusion by Rod Slemmons
128 pages | 87 halftones | 11-1/4 x 9-3/4 | © 2008
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9781930066809 Published October 2008
The Flats, a district near downtown Cleveland, was once was the vibrant heart of Midwestern industry and is now in the throes of change: Some of its warehouses and factories have been transformed into nightclubs and restaurants, while homes in adjacent neighborhoods have been replaced by mini-mansions.  In Cleveland, photographer Andrew Borowiec documents the Flats today and evokes the way of life they once embodied.

Given the rare opportunity to access one of Cleveland’s vast steel mills before it was modernized or destroyed, Borowiec employed his camera to explore the Flats and its monuments of American industry. His striking black and white images reveal the broken power and vulnerability of the once-mighty mill as well as its relation to the surrounding city and its neighborhoods. The commercial buildings, factories, warehouses, and iron bridges that sustained Cleveland’s industrial pulse convey a quiet dignity in these compelling photographs, as do the modest frame houses that sheltered those who labored for decades in the Flats.

As Clevelanders struggle to redefine themselves as citizens of a twenty-first-century corporate metropolis, the Flats stand as a haunting testament to a time when men worked with their hands and steel was indeed the backbone of our nation.  Borowiec’s compassionate but unflinchingly honest gaze challenges us to look both at and beyond the images of Cleveland and to meditate on our common history of loss and rebirth.

Introduction: Living in Cleveland

by Les Roberts

The Plates

Afterword: What’s Left?

by Rod Slemmons

List of Plates


About the Author and the Essayists

Review Quotes
Bob Thall, Columbia College Chicago
“ I think Andrew Borowiec’s book is spectacular.  As much as I liked his first two books, Along the Ohio and Industrial Perspective: Photographs of the Gulf Coast, Cleveland is my favorite.”
Les Roberts, from his Introduction
“Borowiec has photographed Cleveland the way it’s always looked—with its work ethic and its pride and its loneliness ever-present in the landscape. When I first looked at the photographs, they touched a real and prideful and sometimes hurtful nerve inside me; they reminded me of the same places I’ve written about, places that in a very real way affected the fictional characters I brought to life. . . . This is an amazing collection picturing the place I love.”
Kevin Fuller | Afterimage
"From the gray skyline to the black steel bridges . . . all are resilient reminders of the backbone of America that is sometimes forgotten. The eighty-seven halftones document this American reality."
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