The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
Apr 2016 back issue
Ironworkers the building of Bausch & Lombís new world headquarters Rochester, New York, 1994-5
by Jamey Stillings
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
In 1994, in the middle of a challenging recession, I got wind that Bausch & Lomb (B&L) was going to build a twenty-six story world headquarters in downtown Rochester. I have always loved construction – watching structures evolve from concept to something functional, so I approached B&L with a proposal to support a documentary/fine art project about the building's construction. They loved the idea. So with a nominal monthly fee and expense budget, keys to the gate, and 24/7 access, I began my work. During two years, with a Hasselblad system, Linhof 612, and Linhof Technikardan 45, I visited the site during work hours, as well as quiet Sundays with two feet of fresh snow. On the open eleventh floor, I built a north light studio and invited ironworkers in during their breaks. And occasionally, I photographed from the top of the Swiss crane. I approached the project with passion. It took my mind off the financial and psychological challenges of a recession that bogged my studio, and me, down for nearly five years. Near the end of the project, the recession and other challenges hit B&L. Funding for the project, along with other grand opening activities, was cut. The project was never exhibited or published. After two decades, it is a pleasure to share it! Jamey Stillings, March 2016
Cutting granite from Finland, Quebec, Canada, 1994.
Guiding a girder into position, 1994.
Welder, 1994.
Welding for the atrium structure, 1994.
Lunch with a view, 1994.
Ironworkers group portrait, 1994.
Descending, 1994.
Hands, north light portrait, 1994.
Toolbelt, north light portrait, 1994.
Setting the cupola structure, 1994.
Chatting from the crane, 1994.
View from the crane, 1994.
Roofing, 1994.
Installing atrium glass #1, 1995.
Installing atrium glass #2, 1995.
Bausch & Lomb building complete, 1995.
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