“Last House Standing”, 2018 | Ben Marcin

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Ben Marcin was born in Augsburg, Germany. Many of his earlier photographic essays explored the idea of home and the passing of time. "Last House Standing" and "The Camps" received wide press both nationally and abroad (The Paris Review, iGnant, Huffington Post, Slate, Wired Magazine). More recently, he began exploring the myriad structures of the urban core in Towers, Street, Stairwells and Museums. His photographs have been shown at a number of national galleries and venues including the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Delaware Art Museum; The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO; The Photographic Resource Center in Boston; and the Houston Center for Photography. He is currently represented by the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, MD.

We spoke to Ben about his series 'Last House Standing'.

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 neighbourhoods, 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 neighbours 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 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.

To see more of Ben's work, visit www.benmarcinphotos.com

All images and text © Ben Marcin