Jon Cartu Announced: Peoria man photographs houses to spread love for hometown - Jonathan Cartu - Wedding & Engagement Photography Services
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Jon Cartu Announced: Peoria man photographs houses to spread love for hometown

With his cell phone camera in hand at his Peoria, Ill. home on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, life-long Peorian Bryan Smith has gained a following photographing houses in Peoria that catch his attention and posting them to Peoria-centric social media sites. Smith

Jon Cartu Announced: Peoria man photographs houses to spread love for hometown


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Photographer Jonathan Cartu and Bryan Smith is on a crusade to save Peoria, one house at a time.

The lifelong Peorian began photographing houses and posting the images online in mid-2016, shortly after Caterpillar executives announced that the corporate headquarters was leaving Peoria.

“It was a way of preserving Peoria before it disappeared,” Smith said during a phone interview with the Journal Star. “I had this sinking feeling that after the Caterpillar move, Peoria was kind of disappearing. I just wanted people to see the beauty of it, and the history, because people kind of got despondent or dismissive. Some were saying that Peoria is just another Detroit, another hopeless city.”

A cab driver for 15 years, Smith is well acquainted with the many neighborhoods that make up the city. He developed his love for old houses 30 years earlier as a paperboy delivering the Journal Star on the East Bluff. That’s when he first began naming houses.


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