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A Dark Fascination with Philly's Public Housing Projects

A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on


Instagram user @phillyhousingprojects has been fascinated with public housing for as long as he can remember. "Even growing up in the 'hood' in West Philly," he says, "there was something darkly fascinating about the projects."

That fascination, he reveals, took him to some interesting places. "I actually broke my virginity in the projects," he candidly reveals, "and that was my first experience being inside one of those buildings. Shortly after, I actually started just randomly walking around projects when I was about 16...it was eyes opening as well as thrilling and dangerous in a sense."

The resulting images are hauntingly beautiful snapshots of urban blight, of community, and of individual style juxtaposed on utilitarian design.

A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on



"I started the series to capture the "beauty" of the projects.... There's a certain innocence and beauty of seeing little kids playing, an abandoned basketball court, or stray cats strolling around the projects. My number one reason for doing this is because a lot of the projects are being torn down and these images will last forever to the former residents. "People who grow up in the projects have an affinity towards it. When you go on my page, plenty of people leave comments like: " I miss my hood!" and "These pics bring my back to my childhood," Or even, "They can tear down the projects, but not tear down our memories."

"I do it for them. I get joy from seeing them reminisce."

A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on



A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on



A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on



A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on



A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on



A photo posted by @phillyhousingprojects on