George Air Force Base

This is a project that is still in process photographing the abandoned housing precinct at what was previously the George Air Force Base, and is now the Southern California Logistics Airport, in Victorville, California.   All of the photographs are from 2015.

The George Air Force Base was established in 1941 at the beginning of World War Two and it closed in 1992.  The architect, A. Quincy Jones, was hired to design the approximately 600 housing units in the area that I am photographing and that were constructed between 1965 and 1972.  The base was closed in 1992 and due to ground contamination and the housing units were abandoned and have been left to deteriorate since that time.

At some point tractors have moved through the site destroying and pushing aside trees and ground cover. This action, undertaken with such complete disregard for the structures, has resulted in a spectacular physical site with amazing juxtapositions and textures.  The architecture, while on the edge of generic, is subtly distinct with hundreds of the same sized large vacant windows opening to mute spatial volumes.

My activities have been two fold and involve both photographing the exteriors and interiors with 4x5 B&W film.   In the interiors titled "Dead Mirrors" I have painted large silver rectangles photographed in color with an 8x10 view camera. 
This site is a rich opportunity for material and atmospheric observation.  I have had a longstanding interest sites that are involved in a linear deterioration in the context of a cyclical atmospheric environment.  The site has an equally compelling social history as an artifact of the militarization of the desert west in the United States during the cold war and it’s current status as a superfund clean up site.


John Divola