“The area in which this work was done is the “Old Third Ward”, and nearby. This area is defined by I45 to the east and Wheeler St. to the west. To the north is Highway59, and to the south, the University of Houston development. Near I45 living and social conditions are bad. This changes over quite a number of streets to the west to substantial houses where probably working people live. There are SUV’s and huge pickups.
I had begun a small project to take pictures of public art there. I thought to turn these over to some institution so the works wouldn’t be lost. The I thought to take pictures of the failed businesses there to provide a history of “How It Was”. The situation in the poorer part of the area began to get to me. I tended to become depressed if I stayed over an hour and a half or so.
As I was doing this I cam upon the sign, “ARDREAM RESTAURANT”. The restaurant was permanently closed. This lead me to think about the pain this had caused those who probably put their all into making a go of it, only to fail. The term“Broken Dreams” came to me.
Then I decided to photograph more of these failed business and ultimately took 105 pictures. Ninety-one are included in the exhibit. The subjects were limited to places that had some kind of sign. There were many more derelict buildings without signs which had probably been businesses.”
William Stewart was born in Duncan, Oklahoma. He studied at the University ofOklahoma where was a self described seventh semester freshman, majoring in beer, joints, the library and girls. Stewart later joined the Air Force from which he retired in 1963. After seven years living abroad he returned to Texas where he took up residence in Kemah, Texas, where he lived for 37 years. Stewart currently lives in Houston, Texas.