One Place, Six Photographers

Most of the buildings at the Philadelphia Navy Yard have been restored, but with several hundred on the base, it’s not surprising that some still sit vacant. And a good thing, too, for our purposes at least. The things people leave behind make for great photo subjects, which is why we were thrilled to be able to hold a photo workshop there in November taught by Abandoned America’s Matthew Christopher. The images everyone came back with were so spectacular, we decided to feature them in the Hidden City Daily. The more industrial photos come from Building 18, a Renaissance Revival beauty that was originally used as a boiler and blacksmith shop. The images of office equipment are from Building 83, an eight-story concrete structure with a suite of offices on the top two floors built in 1919 to be a general storehouse.

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Brad Remick

Photo: Laura Kicey

Photo: Laura Kicey

Photo: Laura Kicey

Photo: Laura Kicey

Photo: Laura Kicey

Photo: Laura Kicey

Photo: Andrew P. Madden

Photo: Andrew P. Madden

Photo: Andrew P. Madden

Photo: Andrew P. Madden

Photo: Andrew P. Madden

Photo: Andrew P. Madden

Photo: Donna Lipin

Photo: Donna Lipin

Photo: Donna Lipin

Photo: Donna Lipin

Photo: Dominic Mercier

Photo: Dominic Mercier

Photo: Dominic Mercier

Photo: Dominic Mercier

Photo: Dominic Mercier

Photo: Dominic Mercier

Photo: Theresa Stigale

Photo: Theresa Stigale

Photo: Theresa Stigale

Photo: Theresa Stigale

Peter Woodall is the co-editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for PhiladelphiaWeekly.com.



3 Comments


  1. These are beautiful photographs. And tremendously sad, as they document more clearly than any economic report from our government, how our nation has declined in the world. We outsource too much. We let other nations make the things we need, and let our workers sit idle. In places like this building, that once hummed with the sounds of industry, decent salaries were once earned by working men and women, salaries that allowed them to send their children to college, to own their own home. I look at these photographs, and imagine an engineer looking up from his drafting table as he feels the afternoon sun of early winter touch his face. All this life, this energy, these purposefully designed rooms and spaces and powerful equipment–dissolves into skeins of peeling paint and dark pools of standing water. Requiem for a city that was once great.

  2. These pictures are truly worth a thousand words, and then some. So many stories from the forgotten glory days of this abandoned place, most of which will never be retold. How many lives, how many livelihoods, passed through these rooms and corridors? Where did they go, what is their legacy today?

    The only thing that inspires some hope is the prospect of redevelopment. Will this place support a new generation in the 21st century economy? Let’s hope so.

  3. HDR can produce a nice effect, when used in moderation. So tired of seeing praise for photos like the first few in this set just because they stand out and look unnatural, wayyy over processed.

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