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Gallery: Urban Exploration at the Navy Yard

[Photos by Laura Kicey]

This weekend Hidden City hosted a sold-out photography workshop with Matthew Christopher, one of the best known practitioners of what some call "ruin porn." That term may do Christopher, the founder of the website Abandoned America, a disservice as it simplifies what is a remarkable and rather important project of documenting what happens to spaces that are left behind. He calls this chronicling "an autopsy of the American dream." Curbed Philly staff photographer Laura Kicey—no stranger to making incredible ruin porn herself—tagged along for the workshop at a couple of the Navy Yard's abandoned buildings. "It was very fun," she says. "The first building, #18, was right by URBN's office. It was a former metal foundry. The second building, #104, was an eight-story mixed office, classroom and storage space." There's something about a former metal foundry butting up against the Urban Outfitters empire that strikes us as emblematic of what's happened to American industry—for better and for worse.