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
Cherry Street Pier Raises The Bar For Dynamic Public Space

Cherry Street Pier Raises The Bar For Dynamic Public Space

October 19, 2018  |  Buzz

Cherry Street Pier is officially open for business. The 99-year-old maritime warehouse blends a public park with artist studios, food vendors, a beer garden, and incredible views of the Delaware River. Michael Bixler gives us a look inside > more

Defending Philly History From 3,000 Miles Away

Defending Philly History From 3,000 Miles Away

October 17, 2018  |  Vantage

Joshua Bevan knew he had to act after discovering the architectural beauty of Belmont. From his home in San Francisco he mobilized to nominate a neighborhood landmark for historic designation. In this essay Bevan describes his journey between the Bay Area and Philly to protect the McGaw Mansion > more

Design Coalition Aims To Bridge The Old-New Divide

Design Coalition Aims To Bridge The Old-New Divide

October 12, 2018  |  Walk the Walk

Move over Miami, the Philadelphia Design District is getting ready for some time in the spotlight. The coalition of gallery owners, artisans, and tech startups want to transform Old City into a hive of contemporary design, while preserving the neighborhood's historic character. Joe Brin takes a look inside the idea with co-founder Eugenie Perret > more

Germantown Boys & Girls Club Compromise Brings Peace To Penn Street

Germantown Boys & Girls Club Compromise Brings Peace To Penn Street

October 9, 2018  |  News

Owners of Germantown Boys and Girls Club reach an agreement with preservationists after two years of heated debate. Starr Herr-Cardillo has the news > more

Shakespeare & Co. Brings Old Bank Back To Life

Shakespeare & Co. Brings Old Bank Back To Life

October 4, 2018  |  Buzz

Manhattan-based bookstore and café revives an old banking storefront in Rittenhouse Square. Michael Bixler takes a look > more

Historic Districts Make A Comeback

Historic Districts Make A Comeback

October 2, 2018  |  Vantage

After nearly a decade of lost opportunities, creative new strategies emerge for protecting Philadelphia's historic neighborhoods > more