“I won the right to name a street in southern California,” writes author and photographer Douglas McCulloh. The chance win at a charity event launched McCulloh into an obsessive relationship with a 134-home subdivision just commencing in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Increasingly captivated with the creation of this new neighborhood, he haunted the place he named Dream Street, vividly chronicling the lives of builders, workers, and prospective homebuyers with his camera and tape recorder.
In Dream Street, as the tract of land progresses from an abandoned strawberry field to a jumble of framed houses to a typical suburban neighborhood, McCulloh puts a human face on the process that has shaped so much of America. The name “Dream Street,” he soon discovers, belies reality for those building the homes—most of whom are poorly trained and paid—and for those flocking to open house events hoping to buy. McCulloh’s timely and captivating work illuminates the history and fate of Dream Streets everywhere.