Rural / small town planning Taylor, TX

Messages
10
Likes
0
Points
1
#1
We have just begun a photojournalism project: "Cotton Town | Taylor, TX," exploring the town's rise from a small railroad town to the largest inland processor of cotton in the US, only to be followed rapid decline and stagnation, and today, hope for revitalization. The entire downtown is an National Historic District, has beautiful homes, and a strong heritage to draw from for its revitalization. It is our hope that the project will in some way contribute to this revitalization.

I am hoping through this forum to be able to (1) talk with other who have taken on a similar photojournalism/documentary project and (2) find those who might have have something to contribute in terms of information about Taylor.

Thank you,
Frank

PS. We have a facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/cottontowntaylor
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,864
Likes
71
Points
46
#2
Good 'ol Taylor. Some of the best barbecue in the state. Reminds me that I have to sort through my photos of the town.









The town isn't all that bad, but it's in a rough spot. Too close to Austin to have a strong identity of its own and be the center of activity for a large rural catchment area, but too far away to take advantage of the region's growth and become a bedroom community. There's some charming residential areas. A great place for photographers to capture some iconic images of small town Texas.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,864
Likes
71
Points
46
#4
It sounds/looks like a hundred small towns in Upstate New York.
My understanding is that a lot of the Texas cotton towns never recovered from the Great Depression. They grew in response to the agricultural boom on the 1920s, saw an exodus during the 1930s, and just stagnated or declined after WWII. Ag recovered, but it was less labor intensive. Taylor, Granger, Thorndale, Rockdale, Bartlett, Hearne, and a bunch of other small Blackland Prairie cities and towns all have that same sleepy, dusty "seen better days" vibe.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Moderator
Messages
7,268
Likes
13
Points
28
#5
I believe there is a Cyburbia member on here that lives/works in Taylor that can offer some insight. Dan is spot-on in his assessment of Taylor--it never effectively transitioned from its agricultural economy following the Great Depression, though they are trying today.

One of the most interesting modern things about the town is SST Records. It was established by Greg Ginn, founding member of late 70s hardcore punk band Black Flag. SST is nowhere near the indie king that it was in the 80s when Minutemen, Black Flag, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. were with the label, but I think you should track down the studio and ask "Why Taylor?" I think that could give you some interesting insight.

EDIT: Taylor also has a lot in common with Lockhart, TX historically if you're looking for comparisons.
 
Last edited:

Luca

Cyburbian
Messages
1,146
Likes
0
Points
20
#6
It looks rather derelict. Any pcis of those fine homes mentioned above?

The bottom two buildings in the photo series above look like they fairly good bones. They could be turned into something useful.
 
Top