Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Baltimore House, Minus the Row

Photographer Ben Marcin captures the last rowhouse standing in locations around Baltimore,  Philadelphia and Camden. I grew up in a rowhouse. Makes me kind of sad to see these homes abandoned by their neighbors.

To see the full article go to Atlantic Cities.

Heartbreaking Photos of Lonely Rowhouses
Ben Marcin

For many, Baltimore design is synonymous with the rowhouse. Many of the city's neighborhoods are defined by blocks upon blocks of these narrow residential dwellings. Some represent the city's history and beauty, others symbolize decades of widespread poverty and disinvestment.
Baltimore photographer Ben Marcin, who lives in a well-kept rowhouse himself, has been documenting structures that haven't fared nearly as well. In "Last House Standing," started in 2010, Marcin shoots heartbreaking photographs that show neighbor-less rowhouses, its density-friendly architecture surrounded awkwardly by vacant lots.

Over the next two and a half years, Baltimore plans to spend nearly $22 million to tear down 1,500 abandoned houses, according to the Baltimore Sun. Previously, it spent about $2.5 million a year to demolish these symbols of urban neglect. What will replace these buildings is not always certain. One resident tells the Sun, 'We just don't want a lot of tracts of vacant land like Detroit."
Marcin also documents lonelier rowhouses in cities like Camden and Philadelphia, where the imagery is just as devastating. We caught up with the German- born Marcin via email to discuss "Last House Standing," and what he sees in the streetscapes and buildings he shoots: