Even Slums In The City Of The Dead


Necropolis is an old term meaning city of the dead, and it’s a fitting term for the area of North Philly bounded on the east by N. 29th, on the west by Kelly Drive, on the south by W. Lehigh Avenue, and W. Clearfield St to the north. Here is Laurel Hill, Mt. Vernon, and Mt. Peace cemeteries, and St James the Lesser Church and cemetery, each one a neighborhood in the larger city of the dead. Like all cities, each neighborhood has its own characteristics, its own population, and its own unique history. St James stands a little apart with its own church. Mt Peace is a vast, well maintained example of integration–its graves reflect racial and ethnic diversity. The massive Laurel Hill is truly the wealthy suburbs. Its lawns are immaculate, and its population a who’s who of the Philadelphia monied elite. But like all cities, there are neighborhoods that have seen better days. Neglect sets in and nature begins to retake the land. Once glorious structures become run down and the crime rate escalates. In cities of the living these places are called slums. In Philly’s necropolis this place is called Mt. Vernon.

About the author

Ethan Wallace attended Temple University, where he received a BA in Communications. He has always been interested in the forgotten, unknown, or unseen parts of the city and has spent the last several years photographing Philly’s hidden and vanishing locations. He is also involved with the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem, Pa. More of Ethan's photography can be seen HERE

Send a message!

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.


Recent Posts
9th Street Business Improvement District Defeated—Barely

9th Street Business Improvement District Defeated—Barely

October 27, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Business owners vote Italian Market BID down, what’s holding up the Brush Factory reuse, and renderings for residential project in Port Richmond > more

In Somerton, Suffragists' Vision Lives On

In Somerton, Suffragists’ Vision Lives On

October 27, 2016  |  Vantage

In Northeast Philadelphia, the spirit of the suffrage movement lives on at Cranaleith. The late Victorian home was designed by architect Minerva Parker Nichols for both a family home and a meeting place for women's rights activists during the late 19th century. The property is now home to the Sisters of Mercy and the Cranaleith Spiritual Center. Contributor Sarah Kennedy gives us the tour > more

Curator Previews The Museum Of The American Revolution

Curator Previews The Museum Of The American Revolution

October 26, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Retelling an old story, Frankford CDC prepares new HQ, PHA leases out old HQ, shooting raises safety concerns for Rittenhouse Square, and waiting on Spruce Hill development to start > more

Minerva Parker Nichols: Architect Of Gender Equality

Minerva Parker Nichols: Architect Of Gender Equality

October 26, 2016  |  Vantage

In this second installment of our three-part series on the life and work of groundbreaking female architect Minerva Parker Nichols we trace the origins and apex of her brief, dynamic career > more

Viva Minerva! Celebrating America's First Independent Female Architect

Viva Minerva! Celebrating America’s First Independent Female Architect

October 25, 2016  |  Vantage

Philadelphia architect Minerva Parker Nichols was the first independent female practitioner in the trade and the first female member of the AIA, earning acclaim in the region and across the country. To celebrate the recent addition of Mill-Rae, a Nichols-designed Victorian home with deep women's suffrage ties, to the National Register of Historic Places we present this first installment in a three-part series to honor her life and work > more

Committee Recommends Jewelers Row Buildings For Designation

Committee Recommends Jewelers Row Buildings For Designation

October 21, 2016  |  News

Temporary relief today in the fight to save two historic properties on Jewelers Row from demolition and residential development. Michael Bixler reports > more