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.

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
As Philadelphia Celebrates Its Growth, A Call To Be More Inclusive

As Philadelphia Celebrates Its Growth, A Call To Be More Inclusive

April 19, 2019  |  News

Last week Pew Charitable Trusts released its 2019 State of the City report. The study shows a stark divide between Philadelphia's economic growth and disparity. Kimberly Haas has the details > more

Historic Designation Committee To Consider West Philly District, Institute For Colored Youth, And Churches

Historic Designation Committee To Consider West Philly District, Institute For Colored Youth, And Churches

April 16, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has the details on local register nominations up for consideration at the April meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

For Callowhill Neighborhood, Whose BIDing Will Be Done?

For Callowhill Neighborhood, Whose BIDing Will Be Done?

April 12, 2019  |  News

Longtime Callowhill residents and real estate developers clash over the creation of a Business Improvement District as the neighborhood begins to transition. Kimberly Haas has the story > more

Public Space Rises From The Stacks At Parkway Central

Public Space Rises From The Stacks At Parkway Central

April 10, 2019  |  News

Michael Bixler has this preview of the three new public spaces opening on Friday at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central branch > more

Photo Collection Project Takes A Walk In Ed Bacon's Shoes

Photo Collection Project Takes A Walk In Ed Bacon’s Shoes

April 5, 2019  |  News

Fisher Fine Arts Library at Penn is digitalizing a treasure trove of slides from the personal collection of Philly city planner extraordinaire Edmund Bacon and they need your help. Michael Bixler has the details > more

Riding The Rails With Philly's

Riding The Rails With Philly’s “Little Engine That Could”

April 3, 2019  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a field trip to the Franklin Institute where a 181-year-old locomotive has captivated railroad history buffs since 1933 > more