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One is the loneliest number…


Ben Marcin is fascinated by homes that stand alone.  Consider his photo 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 neighborhoods, 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 neighbors 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.

But Marcin’s interest doesn’t stop there.  See also “A House Apart”  and “Off the Grid.”


As we pose apart, we might send revelatory birthday greetings to Sherwood Anderson; he was born on this date in 1876. A novelist and short story writer, he’s best-known for the short story sequence Winesburg, Ohio, which launched his career and for the novel Dark Laughter, his only bestseller.  But his biggest influence was probably his formative influence on the next generation of American writers– William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Thomas Wolfe, among others– who cited Anderson as an important inspiration and model.  (Indeed, Anderson was instrumental in gaining publication for Faulkner and Hemingway.)




Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 13, 2013 at 1:01 am

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