September 4, 2013

Abandonment & Hope

While I generally focus on the best aspects of Baltimore, sometimes, there are things that catch my attention that don’t show my city at its best. The UK’s Daily Mail (I know, a total rag) had a piece on the singular homes that stand in Baltimore where there were once rows of houses. imageWhile every other house around it has been abandoned and torn down, the one house remains standing. It’s a measure of hope that things will get better, that the neighbourhood will turn around, that other people will come back. imageIt is a home that someone worked hard to own, they saved their money, they bought into the only place they could afford. imageSomeone has made an effort to lift up the place where they live. They have risen above the others who’ve given into the temptations that surround them everyday. imageThese images make me terribly sad, but they also show the glimmer of hope that things can change, life can turn around and they will remain undaunted.

These and other photographs are on exhibit at C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore.

imageAll images are ©Ben Marcin, whose other works you can see here.

13 comments:

  1. I wish there was an effective thing to get these well built buildings with great bones into a community again...

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    1. We're trying hard in Baltimore, but it's a slow push uphill.

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  2. It's all part of the urban process I suppose -but it is rather dreary. I LOVE that last house -charming -if a bit of a fixer upper, haha. All cities have areas like that unfortunately. Remember 10 years ago thats how Logan was here in DC and now there isn't an empty space left!

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    1. The Daily Mail had some rather snarky comments about Baltimore v DC in light of renewal. But we're still trying!

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  3. Did you ever see the movie *Batteries Not Included ? That was in New York, but a similar setting of a home in the middle of a developing area, battling the high rises coming up on all sides. These images are wonderful.

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    1. No! Sounds great. I will have to check it out.

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  4. Replies
    1. I pretend not to like the Daily Mail, but they've got some decent stuff!

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  5. Meg I wish that I had the funds and the wherewithal to bring one of these beauties back to life!
    They all need that TLC and what a transformation it would be!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Feature: Sigal Sasson Entrepreneur

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  6. They're just like abandoned puppies. I just want to hug these places.

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  7. When I was getting my master's in urban planning (in 2000) we made a trip to Baltimore and one of the ongoing discussions we had was about why new housing units were being built in a city that was losing population. Essentially, can you really build your way out of an existing housing surplus. One kind of crazy thought that I played with was taking some of these row house neighborhoods and razing an entire block and turning it into a park/city square. Meanwhile the four blocks of row houses that fronted that new park would not only have wonderful new green space, but it would reduce the number of empty buildings and fill in the gaps of once abandoned houses so that the remaining blocks became whole again. And the pattern could even be repeated like in Savannah so that every front door faced a lovely green square.

    Of course there are myriad challenges to this, the most serious being relocating folks who live on the blocks that would be torn down--even though they could remain in the neighborhood. And there are historic preservation impacts. But I still kind of like the idea.

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