Issue No. 5 – September 2014
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Canon 5D Mark II
“One of the architectural quirks of certain cities on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. is the solo row house. Standing alone, in some of the worst neighborhoods, these nineteenth century structures were once attached to similar row houses that made up entire city blocks. Time and major demographic changes have resulted in the decay and demolition of many such blocks of row houses. Occasionally, one house is spared – literally cut off from its neighbors and left to the elements with whatever time it has left.
My interest in these solitary buildings is not only in their ghostly beauty but in their odd, almost defiant, placement in the urban landscape. Often three stories high, they were clearly not designed to stand alone like this. Many details that might not be noticed in a homogenous row of twenty attached row houses become apparent when everything else has been torn down. And then there’s the lingering question of why a single row house was allowed to remain upright. Still retaining traces of its former glory, the last house standing is often still occupied.”
Ben Marcin was born in Augsburg, Germany to a German mother and Polish father. His photo series have received wide press both nationally and abroad (The Paris Review, iGnant, La Repubblica, Slate and Wired) and have been shown at a number of national galleries. “Last House Standing” was featured this year in a large solo exhibit at the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore and can be viewed online at www.cgrimaldisgallery.com.