Inside the Divine Lorraine
The Divine Lorraine Hotel sits on the north end of Broad street in Philadelphia, a decaying relic from the turn of the 20th century. Originally built to serve as apartments for the wealthy elite, the structure has fallen to ruin; it is graffitied and crumbling with a seemingly uncertain future. When we were asked by Philadelphia Magazine to photograph the Philadelphian with a dream for the place, we couldn’t say no. If nothing else, it meant we’d finally get a chance to see inside the crumbling walls.
We were tasked by Philly Mag to shoot portraits of Blumenfeld not only in the Divine Lorraine hotel, but also at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs where we got to see a few unexpected surprises…
Yes those are our octabanks set up in front of an Aston Martin and next to a Ferarri & Bentley. Photo equipment sure is cool, but it I’ve got to admit that it pales in comparison to a garage full of V12 engines.
We spent the morning photographing Eric with his cars and motorcycles – making sure to be very, very careful about not bumping our gear into anything.
And of course our intern Alex had to hop on the bike for a test shot or two. I’m not sure if he’s a Harley kinda guy…
The afternoon brought us back into Philly, past the padlocked and boarded up doors, and deep inside the Divine Lorraine hotel.
Where we eventually made our way onto the roof to take in the panoramic views looking back towards center city Philadelphia.
We shot Eric out on the roof and in the former grand ballroom on the top floor of the Divine Lorraine – the former glory and gilding of earlier centuries reduced to brick and sand.
I have to take a minute and mention that shooting in an abandoned high-rise building has some distinct challenges – like no electricity, or no elevators. This meant we had to hand carry our lights up 10 + flights of stairs, and then run hundreds of feet of extension cord down to our generators to make it all work…
Yup. That was a lot of extension cord.
Want to find out more? You can read the full story over at Philadelphia Magazine’s website and if you’re in the area, look out for it in print!