Joseph E.B. Elliott’s photographs in Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City “suggest that the Hidden City is not a singular place of skeletal simplicity. Rather, it is many thousands of places layered one atop the other, intersecting in complex ways.
In the photo below, “an exterior view of the Globe Dye Works building on Torresdale Avenue in Frankford, a man in the present-day city walks past the long exterior wall of a factory built in stages starting in 1867. The complex composition of the streetscape makes the layers plain: windows cinder-blocked and boarded-up as eras changed, red and green paint used to cover over graffiti, the various kinds of bricks installed over many decades, the hand-painted and well-faded “Founded 1869” on a steel skeleton peeking almost mysteriously above the roof line, and the iconic “Globe Dye Works” in neon letters over the circular globe, installed in the twentieth century, which faces away from the camera and toward the distant Atlantic Ocean and the world beyond. In each of these layers we sense a different hand, a different intent. Each hand reveals a secret of the Hidden City.”
Excerpted from:”Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City” by Joseph E. B. Elliott, Nathaniel Popkin, and Peter Woodall
Below, more photos from the new book. Click here to read an excerpt from “Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City.“