My senior project focused on the history of North Philadelphia and how it relates to the gentrification process seen today.
Throughout this entire process, I learned much more than I initially knew before coming into this semester. Originally, I had planned to focus my senior project just on a particular aspect of North Philadelphia. Upon driving around in the city, I seen so many student housing and apartment buildings, to go along with the demolished and left over older buildings that were soon to suffer the same fate. Looking at this made me want to put a spotlight not only on the gentrification seen in North Philadelphia, but also the history behind it. I did extensive research on particular buildings and notable venues that North Philadelphia had to offer, and then I went to these areas and captured several images of them. My goal was to try to recreate images as best I could from ones that were taken decades ago. Doing this “before and after” series and organizing it was probably my favorite aspect of this entire project. What I learned the most from this project, however, was just more of what the city of Philadelphia has gone through in its years. I never heard of the 1964 Race Riots until this project, and I was quite amazed and all of the information that I read. Putting these images together to create a story that I could present and explain to people was next, and to be honest, it was more of the easier parts to do. Overall, I feel much more knowledgeable about the city that I grew up in, and I take pride in the work that I did. The ending result was well worth it, and I can say that I definitely enjoyed the experience of putting this all together as a whole.