Greg Miller is a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in GQ, Time, and ESPN.
In the 1930s Youngstown, Ohio, was one of the three largest steel producers in the U.S., with a population of of 170,000.
Mansions lined an area called Millionaire's Row, on a hill away from the foundries. Today many mansions still stand, empty, a sad memorial to Youngstown's more prosperous days.
In 2005 Jay Williams, a 34-year-old African American banker and political rookie, became mayor. He was elected on a promise to demolish the vacant buildings and revitalize the downtown.
Phil Kidd is a former Army lieutenant and local activist. He has worked to preserve some of the mansions, which cost a tremendous amount to renovate and preserve.
Still, with so many abandoned homes, real estate is a buyer's market. Tyler and Jaci Clark, a couple who returned to Youngstown, bought this five-bedroom house, fully renovated, for $188,000.
Paul Dunleavy, an iconic figure in Youngstown, runs and walks through the streets carrying a 55-pound log.
Dunleavy runs a gym, and prefers working out with everyday items, like tires, crowbars and fire hoses.
The Lemon Grove Cafe is a corner of cool, infused with professionals from the nearby Youngstown Business Incubator. Local activists meet there for strategy sessions called Thinkers and Drinkers.
Jim Cossler (right) runs the Youngstown Business Incubator, a host to eight high-tech start-ups. Mike Broderick is his greatest success story.
Mike Broderick is a son of Youngstown who came home and started the two-time Inc. 500 company, Turning Technologies, in 2005.
Turning, which last year grossed $33.5 million, makes audience response systems used in academic settings and on shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Miller shot a series on his hometown of Nashville in 2008. As with his Youngstown work, he wanted to capture the essence of a quintessentially American city.
Also in 2008, he was awarded a prestigious fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
The David Salow Gallery in Los Angeles hosted a show of Miller’s Nashville work.
Miller uses a large wooden K.B. Canham 8x10 Camera to achieve incredibly sharp photographs.
“Photographing people or places has to be for more than the sake of simple description, a story has to be told within the frame,” Miller says.
Miller, who teaches at the International Center for Photography in New York City, lives in Brooklyn.
To read about downtown Youngstown's economic fortunes, read "Semper Youngstown" from the May issue of Inc.