The purpose of the project is to honor these residents, together with all those who came before them over the nearly thirteen decades starting in 1891 and ending in 2018. It is also intended as a contribution to the historic record.

Three components are woven into this work:

  1. Creation of photographic portraits depicting SDC residents, together with those with whom they share enduring relationships: their conservators, family members and friends.

  2. Collection of legacy family photographs, typically snapshots, many depicting SDC residents in childhood settings.

  3. Capture of resident life stories composed and produced via interviews and written submissions by family members and friends.

After securing all the necessary permissions to gain access to SDC, the first Eldridge Portrait was taken of John Pellegrini together with his legal conservator, Michael Hawkins, at the Emparan living unit on January 4, 2017.

The last portrait was shot on July 21, 2018, with a resident client named Curtis, together with his mother Carolyn, at Poppe Cottage.

A total of twenty-five Eldridge Portrait sessions were completed. Soon the last of SDC’s residents will join those who have since moved to community settings.

The Eldridge Portrait Project team includes:

  • Carolyn Allekna Todhunter, project manager, who worked at SDC for 25 years.

  • Joseph Garappolo, photographer and project lighting director, Light at 11B.

  • Christian Gillam Pease, photographer and project producer, Light at 11B, who is also a former SDC employee.