After the Illinois National Guard vacated the Chicago Avenue Armory, but before the Museum of Contemporary Art took control of it for the Art in the Armory: Occupied Territory exhibition, MCA staff photographer Jim Prinz strolled the empty building with a medium format film camera. His black and white images show grandeur lost and reveal hollowed out spaces awaiting demolition. Discovering these photographs as this Shifting Grounds project was nearly complete was as powerful an experience as the one I remember upon entering the armory to see the Occupied Territory exhibition in 1992. Photographs, like historic sites and abandoned interiors, conjure up sensations of other peoples' pasts. Jim Prinz's stairway photographs deserve an exhibition of their own. ©MCA, Courtesy of the MCA Library & Archives.

1992: Jim Prinz photograph of the administration building's main lobby.
1926: Field Artillery Journal's photograph of "the main lobby and the staircase leading to the officers' quarters."
1992: Jim Prinz photograph of the opening reception for the MCA's Art in the Armory: Occupied Territory exhibition.