Art & Design

Cities & Their Discontents

September 19, 2011 | by Peter Woodall

Church of the Assumption | Photo: Matthew Christopher

A new show opened Sunday at the ¬†Gershman Y’s Open Lens gallery with the imposing title Before and After Utopia: Images of Urban Abandonment, Absence and Aspiration. It features Matthew Christopher’s photos of abandoned places, several of which were shot in Philadelphia, including the auditorium of the original Northeast High School at 8th and Lehigh, and the interior of Church of the Assumption on 11th and Spring Garden Street. The show also explores utopian projects, with photo essays on Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s experiment in urban planning in the Arizona desert, and Masdar City, Norman Foster’s eco-city in Abu Dhabi.

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About the Author

Peter Woodall Peter Woodall is the Project Director of Hidden City Philadelphia. 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

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