Prior to moving to the Northeast back in 2002, I’d never experienced very many abandoned houses before. I mean, of course, they exist all over the country…but never had I seen the sheer quantity of derelict & abandoned homes [and businesses] as I experienced here. Philadelphia and it’s neighboring areas astonished me with the number of beautiful buildings that were left to fall apart. It was inconceivable to me that art deco factories, craftsman bungalows, brick row houses, and huge colonial revival homes alike were left to suffer with broken window panes, grafitti and boarded up doors. They all [still] remind me of a poem I read when I was in junior high school by the American poet Joyce Kilmer called “The House with Nobody In It.”
Although I find it particularly sad, I also find these abandoned places beautiful in a sense. Sometimes as you stand and look at these structures, you can almost feel the environment trying to reclaim them and take back what man created. As a person that’s obsessed with architecture, design and how people live, it’s hard for me to see these houses left all alone and broken like this. But I almost feel that by taking a second to acknowledge each one with a long glance or a photograph, I’m paying homage in some way to the life once lived there and the effort put into constructing each one.
I began to go down this sentimental road today b/c I saw the post over at Charles & Hudson about photographer Kevin Bauman’s series of 100 Abandoned Houses featuring beautiful & desolate homes around the Detroit area. The photo at left is one of his gorgeous pics, and I highly suggest you head over to his site to check it out.
It obviously made me think about the many places all across the country that are hauntingly similar. Seeing as how I’ve been obsessed with this type of thing for awhile, here’s a few additional links that you might like (if you’re also into this sort of thing):
3. A selection of Robert Polidori’s Chernobyl photos.
4. And of course no collection would be complete without Robert Polidori’s book “After the Flood” featuring pics from after Hurricane Katrina.