Photography Faculty Member's New Book Receives Rave Reviews

Vincent Feldman chronicles the deterioration and decay of some of Philly's architectural gems

March 20, 2014

City Abandoned: Charting the Loss of Civic Institutions in Philadelphia, a new book by University of the Arts Photography faculty member Vincent Feldman, has just been released by Paul Dry Books and has already garnered unanimous praise from reviewers and critics.

In the book, Feldman uses his lens to tell a story of his city in transition, with images of iconic and historic buildings and locations, once prime examples of Neoclassical and Victorian architecture, now fallen into decay.

Some of his subjects have succumbed to neglect or demolition (the Ridge Avenue Farmers' Market, for example); some have been successfully rehabilitated to new uses (the Victory Building); while others remain in limbo in their ruined states—their futures far from secure.

As his publisher notes, besides recording the current state of the buildings, Feldman's photographs can play an active role in their preservation and renovation. His photos can serve, not only as documentary records, but also as catalysts for the rescue and rehabilitation of some of Philadelphia's most significant and neglected "abandoned" city architecture.

Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron calls City Abandoned a "deeply moving survey of the great civic structures that Philadelphia erected, then neglected."

The Wall Street Journal also praises Feldman's work, saying, "In understated compositions that transcend merely local appeal, (Feldman) documents schools, theaters, hotels and churches left to deteriorate even as Philadelphia’s downtown has boomed."

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