The images in this project are an exploration of the Fulton Mall’s transformation, and a visual study of the beginnings of what may best be described as gentrification for current businesses and mall pedestrians.
On March 3, a group of city leaders hoisted gold-painted sledgehammers above Fresno’s pedestrian mall – known as Fulton Mall since its conversion in 1964, the six-block stretch of downtown is now referred to as Fulton corridor, and more optimistically, Fulton Street. The sledgehammers, of course, were simply ceremonial; a jackhammer had already broken the concrete, and during the ceremony that followed, people would claim pieces as personal souvenirs.
Prior to construction, Fulton Mall was one of the country’s few remaining pedestrian malls — a “failed experiment,” according to current leadership. With a majority of its buildings vacant, the corridor has been heralded as linchpin for faltering and long-discussed downtown revitalization. Its restoration to a two-way street, funded mostly by federal dollars, has been sold as a catalyst for new investments and economic growth.