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Recent publications
"Power on Glass: Carleton E. Watkins’s Columbia River Series and the Capitalist Gaze."
Oregon Historical Quarterly

The Lost Dimension
Art of Writing: Pandemic Journal, UC Berkeley Townsend Center for the Humanities
May 2020

“The Photograph as History: Revisiting the Portland Switching District Project”
National Railway Historical Society Bulletin
Vol. 82, Winter 2020, 3-19

“Railroads, power, and technological stories in California”
California History
Vol. 96, Issue 2, Summer 2019, 6-18

Jasmine and the good life
The Smart Set
February 1, 2018.

“The (rail)road belongs in the landscape: J.B. Jackson and the photographic depiction of American railroads”
Railroad Heritage
Vol. 47, December 2016, 14-35

Amenities, not enemies: The once and future San Francisco
BOOM: A Journal of California web extra, July, 2014

The Railroad and the Art of Place: An Anthology | Co-editor, Writer

The Railroad and the Art of Place: An Anthology
David Kahler, creator, Jeff Brouws, Alexander Benjamin Craghead, and Kevin P. Keefe, eds.
Madison, WI: Center for Railroad Photography & Art, 2021.
XX black-and-white and XX color images. 370 pages. Price TBD.
Available at

A photographic and literary exploreation of the American railroad landscape, and its intersections of space, place, and time. As co-editor, I helped to shape the concept and execution of the book, with significant input on the text. I co-wrote the book's introduction, and also penned five essays: "Railroad Crossings," "Rural Depots," "Sidings and Placenames," "Switching Districts," and "Tranformations and Traces."

Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon | Writer

Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon: The Architectural Legacy of Henry Villard
Charlotte, NC: The History Press, 2016
85 black-and-white images. 208 pages. $21.99
Available at: Amazon | | Powell's | The History Press

In 1883, railroad financier Henry Villard brought Portland and the Pacific Northwest their first transcontinental railroad. Earning a reputation for boldness on Wall Street, the war correspondent turned entrepreneur set out to establish Portland as a bourgeoning metropolis. To realize his vision, he hired architects McKim, Mead & White to design a massive passenger station and a first-class hotel. Despite financial panics, lost fortunes and stalled construction, the Portland Hotel opened in 1890 and remained the social heart of the city for sixty years. While the original station was never built, Villard returned as a pivotal benefactor of Union Station, saving its iconic clock tower in the process. This is the story of a Gilded Age patron of who helped shape a city's identity. Covering the period from 1873 to 1896, this is a story of greed, ambition, and architecture. In addition to breaking new ground by correctly establishing McKim, Mead & White as the acrhitects of the city's beloved, lost, and much missed Portland Hotel, the narrative is engagingly rendered, a literary love letter to the grandeur and squalor of the Gilded Age West.