Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh, the Pain

Did you enjoy our lighter-hearted last couple of posts? Nice change of pace, right? Good, because it's time to get weepy again.

The Project works off its post-Thanksgiving coma with a wonderful series of photo galleries by, who recently traveled to West Philly to chronicle Transfiguration of Our Lord--coincidentally, right before the demolition started.

You might remember the Michigan photographer who did something similar. I bring this one up because the more photographic coverage of a church, the better. And, because, with all due respect, he makes Mr. Forgotten Michigan look like a finger-painting toddler.

These are pictures are good. Damn good, actually. They perfectly capture, better than anything I've seen before, the agony of a building that's outlived its usefulness. And they're buoyed by haunting text and titles that seem to add just the right perspective to the whole affair. It's even more drastic when compared to the historical images he (she?) includes. Some you've seen before, some you haven't, but all leave an impression.

The Project salutes you heartily. Well, well done. And if you're interested in doing more church photography, let us know. We have some abandoned specimens you simply must see.

Look for more Transy coverage in the coming days, including my final thoughts on the place.


  1. It deserved SO much better.

    I can't say that enough.

  2. Your right Terry. Transfiguration and so many other churches...deserved SO much better!

  3. The color scheme of the church, when completed, will be unique in church archeture. Highly colored polichrome faiece tile work and terra cotta, such as used the Art Museum, will harmonize with various marbles placed in the church.
    Newsclip the Evining Bulletin - Dec 2, 1927

  4. Eight monolithic marble columns, said to be the largest ever erected in the city, are included in the 31 different kinds of important marbles used in constructing the interior of the Church of the Transfiguration.

    Newsclip the Evening Bulletin - Dec 2, 1927

  5. It was just such a beautiful place.

    The archdiocese dealt with crook Follieri and then they left the place ROT for nine years.

    AFTER it was looted to outfit newer churches in rich neighborhoods, that is.

  6. thanks so much for the kind words on my site. there are a lot of places i've visited but it seems like this one has provoked the most emotional response. i know it meant quite a bit to me too. i would love to talk with you more about what you do, because i have great respect for people who try to preserve great architecture, and sites that you might know of that would be good candidates for photography. my email is - please get in touch.

    matthew murray

    ps - Kearney, i would love to see the article you're quoting from and potentially add it to the gallery on my site.

  7. mistyped that last part, should read:

    * i am definitely interested in sites that you might know of that would be good candidates for photography.