Orphan Wells

A photographer examines derelict oil industry infrastructure in northwest Louisiana, where unprofitable but still productive wells have been abandoned to the public’s care, and trees and vines and grasses are taking over.

Pumpjacks rusting in the woods. Derelict storage tanks. Pipes, wires, cables, weeds. In northwest Louisiana, thousands of oil wells have been abandoned, but remain ruinously polluting.




  • Barbara Penner
  • Despina Stratigakos
  • Belmont Freeman

Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Professor of Architectural Humanities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos is a columnist for Places and Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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Simon Sadler

Simon Sadler is a columnist for Places. He teaches the history and theory of architecture, design, and urbanism across several programs at the University of California, Davis, where he is a professor in the Department of Design.

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