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Images of the Rust Belt



Over the last 150 years, steel production played a vital role in the shaping of our nation. This was especially true in Youngstown, Ohio, a part of what is now often referred to as “the Rust Belt.” In their prime, however, the Youngstown mills ran along 25 miles of the Mahoning River and employed tens of thousands of people. All of that changed in September 1977 when the LTV Corporation announced that it was closing its Youngstown Works. Youngstown today struggles for its survival.

Higgins’s photography places these decaying traces of the industrial landscape squarely amid the magnificence and magic of nature.


James Jeffrey Higgins was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and still lives in the area. He is intimately familiar with the images and landscapes he captures in his photographs and is rapidly becoming one of the leading environmental photographers in the region.